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Full text of "Early Zoroastrianism : lectures delivered at Oxford and in London, February to May 1912"

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D.LIT.  (LOND.)  ;  D.D.  (EDIN.)  ;  D.C.L.  (DURH.)  ;  D.THEOL.  (BERLIN) 


10  &  12  ORANGE    STREET,  LEICESTER   SQUARE,  W.C.  z 


;  F;"?^\ 



Fm^  Published,  1913 
Re-issued,  1926 


Printed  in  Great  Britain 


(Front  a  Persian  seal  in  the  writer 's  possession.) 


THE  Lectures  here  printed  were  delivered  more  than 
a  year  ago,  and  I  must  apologise  for  the  long  time 
that  has  been  needed  for  the  work  of  writing  them 
out  in  book  form,  and  putting  together  the  supple 
mentary  material  on  which  much  of  my  case  rests. 
The  leisure  that  a  busy  teacher's  life  commands  is 
very  scanty  for  such  complex  inquiries  ;  and  the  very 
different  field  of  Hellenistic  Greek  has  demanded 
its  share  of  my  time. 

It  will  perhaps  be  convenient  if  I  collect  in  this 
preface  the  chief  theses  for  which  evidence  and 
argument  are  offered  in  the  following  pages.  I 
have  not  thought  it  necessary  to  occupy  space  with 
the  ordinary  information  which  may  be  found  in 
good  books  on  the  subject,  or  in  such  standard 
sources  as  the  articles  of  Geldner  and  Eduard 
Meyer  in  the  Encyclopaedia  Britannica.  I  am 
the  less  disposed  to  do  this,  as  I  should  only  be 
repeating  what  I  have  myself  recently  written  in 
my  little  book  in  the  "  Cambridge  Manuals  "  series, 
Early  Religious  Poetry  of  Persia.  In  these  Lectures 
I  am  trying  to  paint  a  picture,  and  not  merely  to 
take  a  photograph.  Scholars  more  competent  than 
myself  may  pronounce  my  painting  out  of  perspective 
or  false  to  the  facts;  but  I  shall  still  perhaps  have 


done  some  service  to  the  study  of  a  fascinating  and 
much-neglected  subject  if  I  only  provoke  discussion 
and  research.  I  need  not  sprinkle  a  host  of  personal 
pronouns  over  my  pages  to  show  where  I  am  giving 
my  own  reading  of  the  situation ;  for  by  the  very 
nature  of  the  case  I  am  doing  this  all  through.  But 
I  hope  I  have  given  references  enough  to  show  where 
I  have  differed  from  the  authorities ;  and  if  I  do 
venture  on  novelties,  or  even  heresies,  I  trust  it  is 
with  great  willingness  to  be  confuted  if  I  am  wrong. 
My  mistakes  may  suggest  to  other  inquirers  a  truer 
solution  of  knotty  problems  1  have  tried  to  unravel. 

Lecture  I.  deals  with  the  sources.  Here  I  try  to 
face  the  question  of  the  antiquity  of  the  Gathas  and 
the  Later  Avesta.  The  reality  of  Zarathushtra's 
person  as  portrayed  in  the  Gathas  is  defended ;  and 
the  latter  are  claimed  for  a  very  early  date,  especially 
on  linguistic  and  metrical  grounds.  The  traditional 
date  (660-583  B.C.)  is  a  minimum,  but  there  are 
strong  reasons  for  placing  Zarathushtra  and  his 
Gathas  some  generations  earlier  still.  The  Yashts 
may  be  placed  in  the  later  Achaemenian  age,  and 
the  prose  Avesta,  in  particular  the  ritual  of  the 
Vendidad,  probably  after  Alexander. 

In  Lecture  II.  are  investigated  the  religious  con 
ditions  prevailing  before  Zarathushtra  came.  Darius 
is  pronounced  to  have  been  the  first  true  Zoroastrian 
among  the  Achsemenian  kings ;  but  it  is  urged  that 
antiquity  had  dimmed  the  clearness  of  the  Prophet's 
more  esoteric  teaching  even  with  this  truly  religious 
monarch.  The  other  early  kings  belong  to  the  un- 
reformed  Iranian  religion,  either  because  the  teaching 
of  Zarathushtra  had  wholly  or  mainly  failed  to  reach 


them,  or  because  they  reverted  to  superstitions  more 
in  accord  with  their  character.  The  cult  of  Ahura 
Mazdah  is  not  a  mark  of  Zarathushtra's  teaching, 
having  been  hereditary  in  a  small  aristocratic  caste 
long  before  his  time.  The  popular  religion  of  Persia, 
as  described  very  accurately  by  Herodotus,  is  the 
proto-Aryan  nature-worship,  with  Dyaus,  the  sky, 
at  the  head  of  the  pantheon,  as  in  the  days  before 
the  Indo-Europeans  began  to  separate.  This  leads 
to  some  speculations  as  to  the  original  character  of 
Mithra,  the  chief  of  the  Iranian  "  heavenly  gods " 
whom  Zarathushtra  ejected  from  heaven — to  return 
in  a  modified  form  in  the  Later  Avesta.  Finally 
the  period  of  syncretism  which  brought  the  religion 
towards  the  Later  Avesta  is  fixed  for  the  reign  of 
Artaxerxes  Mnemon. 

Lecture  III.  urges  the  historical  truth  of  the  Gathic 
picture  of  Zarathushtra,  and  places  his  prophetic 
activity  in  Bactria.  This  is  the  answer  to  the 
difficulty  which  sent  Darmesteter  astray  :  the  more 
esoteric  lore  of  Zarathushtra,  and  especially  the 
doctrine  of  the  Amshaspands,  remained  for  centuries 
within  the  land  of  its  birth,  which  was  far  away  from 
the  main  stream  of  history.  It  only  spread  westwards 
when  adapted  by  the  Magi,  and  in  the  form  they 
gave  it.  Among  the  legends  of  Zarathushtra  one 
is  discussed  as  probably  referred  to  in  Virgil's  Fourth 
Eclogue.  It  is  then  shown  that  the  earliest  doctrine 
of  the  Amshaspands  gives  them  neither  a  collective 
name  nor  a  fixed  number ;  they  are  parts  of  the 
Divine  hypostasis,  sharing  with  Mazdah  the  name 
Ahura,  "Lord."  Finally  I  summarise  the  features 
of  a  double  counter-reformation,  as  I  regard  it. 


First  there  is  the  return  of  the  old  Iranian  poly 
theism  ;  then  the  work  of  the  Magi,  which  in  the 
Sassanian  revival  brought  Parsism  to  the  form  in 
which  we  know  it  to-day. 

Lecture  IV.  is  concerned  with  the  Doctrine  of 
Evil,  which  Zarathushtra  called  Druj,  "  the  Lie " : 
Angra  Mainyu,  "Enemy  Spirit,"  is  a  title  devised 
by  the  Magi  from  a  casual  epithet  occurring  only 
once  in  the  Gathas.  The  fall  of  the  Daevas — once 
"  heavenly  ones "  —  is  examined  ;  especially  it  is 
shown  that  Mithra  himself,  as  well  as  Haoma,  was 
probably  a  Daeva  in  the  Prophet's  own  system. 
Naturally,  explicit  allusions  have  not  survived,  for 
the  old  Iranian  gods  soon  emerged  from  their  eclipse, 
shorn  of  their  corrupt  attributes  and  subordinated 
to  Mazdah.  The  Fall  of  man,  as  taught  in  the 
Gathas,  is  newly  interpreted.  In  the  next  Lecture 
Zarathushtra's  eschatology  is  set  forth,  and  some 
points  in  its  relation  to  older  ideas  examined.  The 
most  important  novelties  I  have  to  propound  come 
in  Lectures  VI.  and  VII.,  on  the  Magi,  the  delinea 
tion  of  whose  origin  and  work  is  central  for  my 
whole  view  of  Zoroastrianism.  It  is  argued  that 
the  Magi  were  an  indigenous  tribe  of  priests  or 
shamans,  the  leaders  of  the  non- Aryan  population  of 
Media,  who,  after  failing  to  gain  political  supremacy 
in  the  revolt  of  Gaumata,  secured  in  two  or  three 
generations  a  religious  ascendancy  which  compensated 
for  any  failure.  The  earliest  evidence  of  their  activity 
as  a  sacred  tribe  is  in  Ezekiel  (817),  where  they  are 
found  at  Jerusalem  in  or  before  591  B.C.,  worship 
ping  the  sun,  and  holding  to  their  face  a  branch, 
which  is  the  predecessor  of  the  later  barsom.  Their 


aboriginal  affinities  are  indicated  by  parallels  from 
Central  and  Western  Africa  to  their  method  of  dis 
posal  of  corpses,  which,  like  certain  other  peculiar 
tenets  always  recognised  in  antiquity  as  specially 
Magian,  points  to  their  being  neither  Aryan  nor 
Semitic.  Zarathushtra  himself  was  claimed  by 
them  as  a  Magus,  without  adequate  reason,  and 
points  in  his  religious  system  which  the  Magi 
could  adapt  were  taken  over.  Magian  character 
istics  which  never  found  their  way  into  Parsism 
were  (1)  next-of-kin  marriage,  (2)  magic,  (3)  onei- 
romancy,  (4)  astrology,  (5)  the  malignity  of  planets 
and  (6)  of  mountains.  On  these  lines  I  endeavour  to 
trace  in  the  Avesta  the  contributions  of  the  Magi, 
who  may  be  held  responsible  for  the  ritual,  and 
for  the  composition  of  the  Vendidad,  while  they 
preserved  the  verse  Avesta  and  popularised  with 
adaptations  the  teaching  of  the  Prophet.  But  the 
extent  of  this  was  very  limited  till  Sassanian  times, 
so  that  true  Zoroastrianism  is  not  available  as  a 
possible  source  for  religious  ideas  found  before  that 
period  in  the  West.  The  alleged  influence  of 
Babylon  upon  early  Parsism  is  discussed  and  shown 
to  be  without  any  real  foundation.  Finally  a  Median 
folk-story,  full  of  Magian  ideas,  is  traced  behind  the 
Book  of  Tobit,  and  tentatively  reconstructed  in  the 

Lecture  VIII.  is  devoted  to  the  Fravashis,  who 
are  traced  to  a  double  origin,  the  Di  Manes  of 
universal  ancestor-worship  and  an  animistic  concept 
not  greatly  differing  from  the  External  Soul.  This 
accounts  for  the  Fravashis  of  the  living,  the  unborn, 
and  communities.  The  relations  of  fravasi  and 


daena  and  -^arsnah  are  examined,  also  external 
parallels  such  as  the  genius  (iuno)  of  Roman  religion. 
Finally  it  is  asked  how  far  the  Fravashis  were 
guardian  spirits,  and  whether  they  were  specially 
connected  with  stars,  which  leads  to  an  examina 
tion  of  possible  signs  of  Magianism  in  the  story  of 
the  Magi  in  Matthew  ii. 

The  concluding  Lecture  endeavours  to  illustrate 
the  true  character  of  early  Zoroastrian  concepts  by 
comparing  them  with  corresponding  concepts  in  the 
religion  of  Israel  and  in  Christianity,  in  matters 
where  borrowing  is  excluded  on  either  side.  The 
question  of  actual  borrowing  is  discussed,  and  a 
mainly  negative  result  attained,  except  for  some 
features  of  apocalyptic  imagery  and  of  angelology. 
Some  limited  influence  of  the  Fravashi  concept 
may  be  accepted,  but  Ahriman  and  Satan  are  only 
superficially  connected. 

It  only  remains  for  me  to  perform  the  very  pleasant 
task  of  expressing  my  deep  indebtedness  to  two 
friends,  who  between  them  almost  monopolise  the 
study  of  early  Zoroastrianism  in  the  English-speak 
ing  world.  Professor  A.  V.  Williams  Jackson  of 
Columbia  University  has  helped  me  now  for  many 
years  by  his  books,  his  letters  to  me,  and  all  too 
rarely  by  talks  when  we  could  meet  in  his  country 
or  my  own.  He  read  a  large  part  of  my  MS.  and 
sent  me  many  suggestions.  Bishop  L.  C.  Casartelli, 
whom  Manchester  University  is  fortunate  enough 
to  claim  as  Lecturer  in  Iranian,  has  read  the  whole 
of  my  proofs,  to  my  great  profit.  I  need  not  say 
I  do  not  leave  with  either  of  my  friends  the  slightest 
responsibility  for  my  reading  of  this  ancient  and 

PREFACE  xiii 

perplexing  history.  I  have  generally  named  them 
when  they  have  either  added  to  or  questioned  what 
was  before  them.  But  their  kind  estimate  of  the 
work  as  a  whole  has  been  the  greatest  possible 

There  are  many  other  names  of  learned  friends 
from  whom  I  have  received  help  in  dealing  with 
isolated  points  that  came  within  their  special  know 
ledge.  I  must  resist  the  temptation  to  set  down 
their  names  here,  lest  I  should  produce  the  impres 
sion  that  this  book  has  been  revised  by  a  veritable 
commission  of  experts.  I  have  gratefully  named 
them  at  the  places  where  I  have  sought  their  help. 
Two  more  extensive  contributions  must  be  mentioned. 
Mr  R.  D.  Hicks  has  most  kindly  allowed  me  un 
limited  borrowing  powers  in  a  paper  he  presented 
to  the  Cambridge  Philological  Society.  Readers 
who  follow  my  annotated  extract  from  Diogenes 
will  be  grateful  to  me  for  rescuing  what  a  too  modest 
author  had  not  arranged  to  publish.  The  notes  I 
am  able  to  print  under  Dr  J.  G.  Frazer's  name 
are  a  very  small  part  of  my  twelve  years'  indebted 
ness  to  their  author.  Friendship  with  such  a  man 
is  a  liberal  education.  One  name  that  does  not 
often  figure  lies  behind  every  page.  No  pupil  of 
E.  B.  Cowell  would  omit  to  record  his  veneration 
for  an  ineffaceable  memory.  I  read  the  Avesta  with 
him  at  Cambridge  for  fifteen  years,  bidding  reluctant 
farewell  to  my  alma  mater  less  than  a  year  before 
she  lost  one  of  the  most  learned  and  humble  of  her 
scholars,  the  most  lovable  and  inspiring  of  teachers. 
FravaSim  asaono  yazamaide! 

I   should  like  to  add  a  word  of  greeting  and  of 


thanks  to  distinguished  members  of  the  Parsi  com 
munity  in  Bombay.  The  learned  editor  of  the 
Dinkart,  Darab  Dastur  Peshotan  Sanjana,  has  sent 
me  the  three  latest  parts  of  his  great  work.  I  have 
had  similar  courtesies  from  Mr  J.  J.  Modi,  Mr 
G.  K.  Nariman,  and  the  Trustees  of  the  Parsi 
Panchayat.  Writing  as  I  am  of  the  early  period 
I  have  had  less  opportunity  than  I  could  wish  for 
acknowledging  their  kindness  by  making  appropria 
tions  from  such  researches.  My  own  knowledge 
unhappily  does  not  cross  the  border  of  those  ancient 
Iranian  dialects  wherein  my  studies  in  Indogermanic 
Philology  first  led  me  to  range.  I  earnestly  hope 
this  book  will  not  too  much  disappoint  Parsi  scholars 
who  have  taken  an  interest  in  endeavours  to  throw 
light  on  the  hoary  origins  of  their  religion.  I  can 
at  least  plead  that  I  have  bestowed  much  labour  of 
love  on  a  subject  lying  rather  far  away  from  the 
primary  claims  on  my  time. 

My  final  acknowledgements,  if  more  limited  in 
extent,  are  naturally  the  most  pleasing  to  record. 
In  the  holiday  of  a  busy  schoolmaster,  my  brother- 
in-law  and  old  colleague  Mr  George  Osborn,  of 
The  Leys,  was  good  enough  to  make  me  the  first 
of  the  Indices.  Other  help  in  the  drudgery  of  index- 
making  comes  from  members  of  my  family,  and 
especially  my  daily  helper :  ov§ev  ctye/Xco,  «  M  TO 


J.  H.  M. 


September  8,  1913. 




THE  SOURCES          ........  i 

BEFORE  ZARATHUSHTRA  ........       38 


ZARATHUSHTRA'S  DOCTRINE  OF   EVIL        .          .         .         .         .125 

THE  LAST  THINGS.         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         -154 

THE  MAGI     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .182 

THE  MAGI  (continued)     ....  ...     226 

THE  FRAVASHIS  ....  •     254 





THE  MAGIAN  MATERIAL  OF  TOBIT  ......     332 

THE  GATHAS  .........     343 

PASSAGES  FROM  GREEK  AUTHORS     .          .          .         .          .          .391 

EXCURSUS        .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .422 

INDEX  II.  PASSAGES  REFERRED  TO  .  .  .  .441 


THE  system  of  transliteration  adopted  in  Iranian  words  is  that  of 
Bartholomae's  Lexicon,  except  that  I  substitute  the  Greek  v  for 
the  rather  misleading  x  (kK).  This  applies  only  to  words  in  italics 
which  are  represented  with  exactness.  A  less  strict  transliteration 
is  adopted  when  Iranian  words  occur  in  continuous  English  text 
printed  in  the  same  Roman  type.  A  note  may  be  added  as  to  the 
probable  pronunciation.  The  vowels  have  the  "Italian"  value: 
3  is  the  Sanskrit  a  (as  in  sofa),  a  the  French  an ;  a  the  sound  in 
law.  Spirant  %  and  7  are  heard  in  German  dock,  Tage  (dialectic) ; 
0  and  8  in  our  bath  and  bathe  ;  r>  is  our  ng ;  s  z  as  in  jure  and  a^ure ; 
cj  as  in  church  and  judge ;  %"  may  be  heard  in  the  Welsh  chtvech, 
and  £  is  probably  a  th  sound.  For  more  exact  definitions  the 
student  will  go  to  the  grammars. 

Most  of  the  abbreviations  will  explain  themselves.     I  may  note 
a  few  that  are  less  obvious  : — 

Ys  =  Yasna. 
F*  =  Yasht. 

Visp  =  Vispered. 
Nir  =  Nirangistan. 
W  =  Westergaard  (fragments). 
Bd  or  Z?ttnrf=Bundahish. 
SZS  =  Selections  of  Zad-sparam. 
Mkh  —  Minokhired. 
J3F*  =  Bahman  Yasht. 
SIS  =  Shayast-la-Shayast. 
Sd  =  Sad-dar. 
Dk  =  Dinkart. 
Bh  =  Behistan  Inscription. 
Pers  =  Persepolis        Inscription 
(Kings'   names   precede  :  — 

Dar(ius),       Xerx(es),     Art- 

NR  =  Inscriptions      at      Naks-i- 

Air  Wb  =  Altiranisches  Worterbuch 

Brugmann  Grundriss"*  =  Grundriss 

der  vergleichenden  Grammatik 

der    indogermanischen    Spra- 


EB  =  Encyclopedia  Biblica. 
ERPP=  Early  Religious  Poetry 

of  Persia  (Moulton). 
ERE  —  Hastings'    Encyclopaedia 

of  Religion  and  Ethics. 
Grundriss  or    Grd.  =  Geiger  and 



Kuhn's  Grundriss   der  iran- 

ischen  Philologie. 
IF  or  Idg.  Forsch.  =  Indogerman- 

iscke  Forschungen. 
Le  Z(end)  /4(vesta),  by  Darme- 


LAv  =  Later  Avestan. 
O.P.,  M.P.,  N.P.  =  Old,  Middle, 

New  Persian. 
0(rmazd  et)  A(hriman),  by  Dar- 

PSBA  =  Proceedings     of     the 

Society  of  Biblical    Archae 

RHR  =  Revue  de  I' Histoire   des 

Rapp    i.  =  ZDMG    xix.     1-89; 

ii.  =  ZDMG     xx.     49-140 

(1865  f.). 

SEE  =  Sacred  Books  of  the  East. 
ThLZ  =  Theologische      Literatur- 

ZDMG  =  Journal  of  the  German 

Oriental  Society;  WZKM= 

of  the  Vienna  do.  ;  JA  OS  — 

of  the  American  do. 
Zor(oastrische)      «S7(udien),      by 





Oh  that  my  words  were  now  written  ! 
Oh  that  they  were  inscribed  in  a  book  ! 
That  with  an  iron  pen  and  lead 
They  were  graven  in  the  rock  for  ever ! 

The  Book  of  Job. 

THE  subject  of  which  I  am  to  treat  in  these  Lectures 
is  one  that  has  in  our  own  country  attracted  far  less 
attention  than  it  deserves.  In  the  study  of  the  oldest 
Iranian  languages,  literatures,  and  religions  we  have 
produced  a  very  few  great  experts  ;  but  we  have  left 
it  to  our  cousins  in  Germany  and  in  the  United  States 
to  build  up  a  school.  It  is  a  highly  regrettable  state 
of  things,  for  the  Avesta  and  its  religion  form  a 
subject  of  extraordinary  interest  alike  for  the  philo 
logist  and  for  the  student  of  theology.  The  very 
name  of  the  hall  in  which  these  lectures  are  being 
delivered  in  London  reminds  Englishmen  of  their  Parsi 
fellow-subjects  in  India.  Sir  Cowasjee  Jehangier, 
by  whose  munificence  this  hall  was  added  to  the 
Imperial  Institute,  was  typical  of  a  small  commun 
ity  in  Bombay  whose  influence  and  importance  is 
altogether  out  of  proportion  to  its  numbers.  We 
shall  find  as  we  study  the  beginnings  of  Parsism  that 


the  religion  explains  the  outstanding  excellences  of 
the  Parsi  people.  We  shall  understand  why  their 
fathers  long  ago  preferred  death  or  exile  to  apostasy. 
For  their  great  founder  Zarathushtra — Zoroaster,  as 
Greeks  and  Romans  called  him — must  count  among 
the  loftiest  minds  of  human  history.  Of  him  alone 
among  the  prophets  of  the  Gentiles — unless  we  may 
enhance  Zarathushtra's  glory  by  setting  Socrates  at  his 
side — we  may  declare  with  confidence  that  he  had 
nothing  to  say  of  God  that  even  Christian  thought 
could  deem  unworthy.  There  is  indeed  the  pro- 
foundest  truth  in  the  beautiful  familiar  story  which 
makes  the  heirs  of  Zarathushtra's  teaching  first  among 
men  of  foreign  tongues  to  offer  homage  to  the  infant 
Christ.  They  were  worthy  of  the  privilege,  for  they 
professed  a  faith  that  gave  them  least  to  unlearn 
when  welcoming  the  Teacher  who  should  gather 
together  all  the  scattered  fragments  of  Truth  and 
"  mould  them  into  one  immortal  feature  of  loveliness 
and  perfection." 

The  history  of  a  great  religion  through  some  three 
thousand  years  is  too  large  a  subject  for  a  course  like 
this,  and  I  am  obviously  compelled  to  limit  the  field 
I  shall  attempt  to  occupy.  My  title  announces 
"  early  "  Zoroastrianism  as  my  subject,  and  by  this  I 
mean  in  general  the  period  ending  with  Alexander 
the  Great.  I  shall  overstep  this  limit  only  for  special 
reasons  which  will  appear  when  the  occasion  arises ; 
and  I  shall  make  no  pretence  of  being  exhaustive 
even  up  to  the  limit  I  have  named.  I  am  mainly 
concerned  with  the  origins  of  the  religion,  and  with 
the  lines  on  which  it  diverged  in  later  times  from  its 
first  model.  Zarathushtra  himself  and  the  Gathas 

will  accordingly  take  a  primary  place  in  my  scheme. 
1  am  the  less  tempted  to  aim  at  completeness  because 
my  friend  Prof.  Williams  Jackson  of  Columbia 
University,  who  has  already  written  the  most  authori 
tative  description  of  Zoroastrianism  we  possess,  in 
the  pages  of  Geiger-Kuhn's  monumental  Grundriss 
der  iranischen  Philologie,  is  preparing  for  English- 
reading  people  a  treatise  which  would  immediately 
antiquate  my  own.  I  shall  try  to  examine  with  some 
fullness  a  few  of  the  most  important  aspects  of  the 
religion.  For  the  groundwork  which  has  to  be  pre 
sumed,  even  in  the  study  of  a  subject  that  enters  into 
the  reading  of  very  few  educated  people,  perhaps 
I  may  refer  to  a  little  "  Cambridge  Manual "  of 
my  own — Early  Religious  Poetry  of  Persia — in 
which  I  have  tried  to  give  a  non-technical  account 
of  Avestan  literature  and  religion,  and  have  sketched 
theories  which  will  be  the  subject  of  full  investiga 
tion  here. 

Before  I  turn  to  some  necessary  preliminary 
questions  bearing  on  the  sources  of  our  knowledge, 
I  should  say  a  few  words  as  to  the  features  which 
make  the  earliest  period  of  the  history  of  Parsism  the 
most  interesting  and  important  for  our  study.  Some 
reasons  are  indeed  too  obvious  to  dwell  on.  In  what 
are  sometimes  called  the  "  founded "  religions  the 
person  and  teaching  of  the  founder  always  claim  our 
first  attention,  and  Zarathushtra,  dim  figure  though 
he  is,  forms  no  exception  to  the  rule.  Then  we 
remind  ourselves  that  it  is  in  the  earliest  period  that 
Parsism  began  most  effectively  to  influence  the 
outside  world ;  while  comparatively  little  was  added 
to  its  store  of  ideas  in  any  after  time.  Moreover, 


the  greatest  problems  of  religious  history  in  Parsism 
lie  within  the  period  I  have  described.  The  strange 
uncertainty  which  attaches  to  Zarathushtra's  date 
and  country,  and  the  attempts  of  highly  distinguished 
scholars  to  relegate  him  to  mythology,  will  give  us 
plenty  to  discuss.  And  our  first  essays  in  systematic 
definition  will  show  us  that  Parsism  is  by  no  means 
homogeneous.  It  shows  clear  signs  of  a  syncretism 
of  sundry  very  distinct  elements,  and  the  work 
of  resolution  will  prove  a  valuable  exercise  in  scientific 
sifting  of  evidence. 

I  need  not  occupy  time  with  any  description 
of  the  sources,  which  may  be  sought  in  detail  in 
various  well-known  books,  and  compendiously  in  my 
own  little  manual  mentioned  above.  I  shall  only 
attempt  in  this  Lecture  to  call  attention  to  some 
points  of  importance  for  my  purpose,  and  to  discuss 
certain  vital  problems.  First  among  our  sources  we 
take  those  which  come  to  us  in  Iranian  languages. 
A  definition  of  terms  should  be  interpolated  here. 
Iran  is  the  native  form  of  the  folk-name  which  is 
familiar  to  us  in  derivatives  of  the  Indian  drya.1  I 
shall  use  the  term  Aryan  throughout  in  its  proper 
sense,  as  the  name  given  to  themselves  by  the 

1  The  possibility  that  this  name  is  ultimately  identical  with  one 
which  appears  at  the  other  end  of  the  Indo-European  area  in  the 
Keltic  Anovistns,  etc.,  with  cognates  like  the  Greek  aptaro-s,  has  been 
often  urged,  especially  by  Fick,  who  sought  to  prove  that  it  was 
the  prehistoric  name  of  the  undivided  Indo-European  family.  We 
should  then  recognise  Erin  and  Iran  as  kin.  But,  like  so  many 
other  obvious  word-equations,  this  is  not  as  easy  as  it  looks,  though 
I  cannot  regard  it  as  impossible.  Bartholomae  (ZAirWb  118)  gives 
us  some  necessary  cautions  about  the  uncertainty  that  besets  the 
etymology  of  folk-names.  (See  Kretschmer,  Einleitung,  130  f.) 


easternmost  branch  of  the  Indo-European  family, 
which  at  the  dawn  of  history  is  found  already  estab 
lished  across  the  border  of  Asia.  According  to  the 
view  now  generally  held,  this  means  a  presumption 
that  the  Aryan  folk  migrated  south-east  in  prehistoric 
times  from  a  district  somewhere  in  central  or  northern 
Europe,  where  a  more  or  less  homogeneous  people 
spoke  with  some  dialectic  variations  a  language  which 
comparative  philology  has  been  busy  reconstructing.1 
The  Aryans  proper  were  still  one  people  at  a 
relatively  recent  period.  E.  Meyer  places  their 
Urheimat  in  the  steppes  north  of  the  Black  Sea  and 
the  Caspian,  whence  they  migrated  through  South 
Russia  to  Turan  (Turkestan),  the  Oxus  and  Jaxartes. 
In  Eastern  Iran  they  divided.  According  to 
Winckler's  view  of  the  inferences  to  be  drawn  from 
the  inscriptions  he  discovered  at  Boghaz-keui,  the 
unity  was  still  intact  within  the  second  millennium 
B.C.  Winckler  recognises  the  undivided  Aryans  in 
the  Harri  of  his  inscriptions,  and  accordingly  the  chief 

1  Since  this  book  was  completed,  I  have  contributed  an  essay 
on  some  points  in  Iranian  ethnography  to  the  volume  dedicated 
to  Prof.  William  Ridgeway  on  his  sixtieth  birthday  (Cambridge, 
1913).  On  evidence  drawn  mainly  from  technical  linguistic 
affinities,  I  have  ventured  the  conjecture  that  the  migration  was 
considerably  later  than  I  thought  when  I  wrote  the  sentences  of 
this  page.  I  make  the  founders  of  the  Aryan  culture— or  rather 
the  speakers  of  the  language  in  which  it  expressed  itself— to  have 
been  a  German  tribe  which  made  a  very  rapid  trek  across  Russia, 
past  the  north  end  of  the  Caspian,  into  the  country  north  of  the 
Panjab,  into  which  before  very  long  the  bulk  of  the  invading  tribe 
passed  on.  In  the  period  of  these  hypothetical  movements  the 
Indo-European  dialects  had  not  yet  become  mutually  unintelligible. 
I  may  recall  here  that  Prof.  Hirt  (Die  Indogermanen,  p.  22)  places 
the  first  migrations  as  late  as  1600-1800  B.C. 


gods  of  the  proto- Aryan  pantheon  in  Mitra,  Varuna, 
Indra,  and  the  Nasatyau  (the  Twins)  who  figure  in  the 
treaty  between  King  Subbiliuliuma  and  Mattiuarza 
son  of  Tusratta  of  Mitanni.  In  Prof.  Soderblom's 
edition  of  Tiele's  Compendium  der  Religionsgesc/iichte, 
p.  219  f.,  the  inscription  is  claimed  as  confirming  the 
belief  that  the  Hittites,  to  whom  the  Boghaz-keui 
monuments  clearly  belong,  were  of  Aryan  origin  : 
the  names  "  depend  perhaps  on  a  branch  of  the 
Aryans  slowly  pushing  their  way  from  the  Baltic 
coasts  to  their  new  home  in  the  East."  A  suggestion 
that  the  connexion  is  rather  with  India  is  worked  out 
elsewhere  in  these  Lectures  (p.  26)  ;  and  we  may 
put  with  it  Prof.  Jackson's  hint l  that  we  should  be 
very  cautious  about  drawing  conclusions  from 
Boghaz-keui  until  our  information  is  fuller.  "  The 
mention  may  be  merely  a  direct  reference  to  Indian 
deities  without  having  any  immediate  connexion  with 
Iran."  The  locality  is  altogether  outside  Iran,  and 
only  Iranian  peculiarities  of  language  could  force 
us  to  accept  so  early  an  Iranian  migration  west. 
And  the  names  answer  only  to  Indian  phonology  or 
that  of  the  undivided  Aryans.  Prof.  Winckler  would 
recognise  this  Aryan  community  in  Armenia  in  the 
fourteenth  century,  to  which  the  inscriptions  belong. 
Prof.  Eduard  Meyer  accordingly  claimed  Boghaz- 
keui  as  marking  "  the  first  entrance  of  the  Aryans 
into  history."  Prof.  Winckler  is  content  to  take  the 
names  as  evidence  that  for  some  reason  which  we 
cannot  define  the  deities  in  question  had  special 
significance  for  the  states  affected  by  this  treaty. 
He  infers,  however,  that  the  undivided  Aryans  were 
1  In  ERE  iv.  620. 


under  Babylonian  influence  and  practised  Babylonian 
writing.1  On  this  subject  of  early  Babylonian 
influences  upon  Aryan  peoples  I  have  said  enough 
elsewhere  (p.  236  ff.).  Here  I  would  only  observe  that 
we  know  nothing  about  the  movements  of  Indian 
or  Iranian  tribes  in  the  second  millennium,  and  could 
postulate  an  ebb  from  India  to  the  north-west 
without  compromising  anything  that  is  really  estab 
lished.2  The  Aryan  character  of  Mitanni  names  is 
conjectured  on  very  limited  evidence,  and  may,  I 
think,  be  quite  possibly  unsound.  But  if  it  is  to  be 
accepted,  it  probably  means  no  more  than  that  the 
chieftains  were  Aryan,  the  people  whom  they  con 
quered  being  indigenous. 

We  must  postpone  speculation  upon  the  innumer 
able  possibilities  of  this  discovery  till  Winckler  can 
follow  it  further.  It  is  enough  to  observe  here  that  the 
Indian  branch  moved  off  to  the  Panjab  only  when  a 
very  distinctive  language,  civilisation,  and  religion  had 
been  evolved  out  of  the  inherited  forms  the  immigrant 
Aryans  had  brought  with  them  across  the  steppes. 
The  comparative  method  enables  us  to  reconstruct 
this  "  Aryan  period  " 3  with  a  considerable  degree  of 
precision.  With  the  results  of  such  reconstruction 
we  shall  be  very  much  occupied  later  on.  There  was 
a  time  when  the  legitimacy  of  this  whole  method  was 
fiercely  contested  by  a  school  which  insisted  on  the 
infallibility  of  the  native  Iranian  traditional  interpreta- 

1  See  Orientalische  Literaturzeitung  for  July  1910. 

2  See  a  later  passage  in  this  Lecture,  p.  25  f. 

3  Die  arische  Periode  is  the  title  of  a  monograph  by  Fr.  Spiegel, 
the  great  Iranian  pioneer.     It  was  published  in  1887,  and  of  course 
needs  checking  by  later  research. 


tion  of  the  Avesta ;  while  the  comparative  school 
retaliated  with  an  equally  thoroughgoing  contempt. 
Reconciliation  has  long  been  established  between  the 
rival  methods  by  the  recognition  that  both  are 
indispensable,  and  a  knowledge  of  the  religion  of  the 
Veda  is  acknowledged  to  be  an  essential  tool  of  our 
science  just  as  much  as  that  of  the  expositions  handed 
down  to  us  by  the  Parsi  guardians  of  the  Avesta. 

Having  thus  recognised  the  claim  of  prehistoric 
sources,  we  come  to  what  must  of  course  be  the 
primary  source  of  our  knowledge  of  Zoroastrianism. 
The  meaning  of  the  name  Avesta  need  not  detain 
us,1  nor  the  romantic  story  of  its  discovery  by 
Anquetil  Duperron  and  the  distressingly  wrong- 
headed  scepticism  with  which  the  magnificent 
achievement  was  rewarded.  These  controversies, 
like  those  that  raged  later  between  rival  schools  of 
interpretation,  have  only  a  historical  interest  for  us 
to-day.  The  great  majority  of  scholars  would  say 
nearly  as  much  of  the  controversy  to  which  I  propose 
to  devote  the  major  part  of  this  lecture.  But  the 
denial  of  the  antiquity  of  the  Gathas  and  the  historical 
reality  of  Zarathushtra  is  so  fundamental  that  I  am 
bound  to  deal  with  the  question,  the  more  so  as  the 
negative  view  is  enshrined  in  the  Introduction  to  the 

1  Geldner  approves  the  suggestion  of  Andreas,  that  Avistdk 
comes  from  upasta,  the  "  foundation  text,"  of  which  the  Zand  (Zend) 
is  the  (Pahlavi  or  Middle  Persian)  translation  and  commentary. 
This  suits  the  facts  very  well,  but  we  cannot  say  more.  I  shall 
discard  the  incorrect  term  "Zend-Avesta"  for  the  book,  and 
(though  less  willingly)  the  conveniently  brief  term  "  Zend  "  for  the 
language,  using  regularly  Gathas  and  Later  Avesta  for  the  one, 
Gathic  and  Later  Avestan  for  the  other.  It  seems  best  to  retain 
the  familiar  "Vendidad,"  even  if  it  is  a  misreading  for  Vtdcvddt. 


English  translation  of  the  A  vesta  in  Sacred  Books 
of  the  East,  a  work  which  English  readers  may  be 
pardoned  for  regarding  as  infallible. 

It  is  now  nearly  twenty  years  since  James 
Darmesteter l  startled  the  world  of  scholarship  with 
his  daring  paradox,  according  to  which  the  Gathas 
must  be  regarded  as  owing  their  most  central  con 
ceptions  to  Philo  of  Alexandria,  or  to  a  school  of 
thought  of  which  Philo  is  the  leading  exponent.  The 
theory,  as  Prof.  Mills  has  well  reminded  us,2  involves  a 
revolutionary  change  from  its  author's  earlier  beliefs, 
as  represented,  for  instance,  in  the  first  edition  of  his 
English  Avesta.  And  within  a  year  or  so  of  its 
appearance  the  great  Orientalist  died,  after  crowding 
into  his  brief  span  a  marvellous  output,  conditioned 
by  the  consciousness  that  for  him  the  night  was  soon 
coming,  wherein  no  man  can  work.  It  is  due  to  his 
fame  to  remember  that  he  never  had  before  him  the 
all  but  unanimous  judgement  of  his  fellow-students, 
in  the  light  of  which  he  might  well  have  reverted  to 
his  earlier  opinions.  I  need  not,  I  think,  go  into 
detail,  since  with  one  notable  exception  the  theory 
has  never  attracted  any  Iranian  scholar  of  the  first 
rank.  But  since  nearly  every  page  of  these  Lectures 
would  be  radically  affected  if  we  were  no  longer 
allowed  to  regard  the  Gathas  as  by  far  the  oldest 
part  of  the  Avesta,  and  centuries  older  than  Philo, 
1  must  set  forth  the  main  grounds  on  which  ortho 
doxy  repels  with  confidence  the  new  scepticism,  as 

1  Le   Zend-Avesta    (Paris,    1893),  introduction    to    vol.   iii.  ;    and 
SEE   iv.    pp.    xxxi-lxix.       See  a  convenient  list   of  criticisms  in 
Bousset,  Judentum,  547n. 

2  Zarathushtra,  Philo,  the  Achtemenids,  and  Israel  (1905-6),  p.  10. 


represented  in  Darmesteter's  latest  work,  and  to  a 
modified  extent  in  Prof.  Franz  Cumont's  famous 
book  on  Mithraism. 

The  sum  of  Darmesteter's  case  against  the 
antiquity  of  the  Gathas  is  really  concentrated  in  the 
assertion  that  Philo's  \oyo?  Oefo?  is  the  original  of  the 
Amshaspand  "Good  Thought."1  Incidentally,  of 
course,  this  carries  with  it  the  lateness  of  all  passages 
in  the  Later  Avesta  which  name  this  or  the  other 
Amshaspands.  Darmesteter  does  not  tell  us  why 
Philo  or  the  school  to  which  he  belonged  may  not 
have  derived  the  conception  from  Iranian  sources,  if 
either  party  is  to  be  convicted  of  borrowing.  More 
over,  his  admission  that  only  one  other  of  Philo's  six 
Ao'-ycu  or  8wa/u.eis  can  be  compared  with  a  member  of 
the  Zoroastrian  hexad  (the  Amesha  Spenta),  is  fatal 
to  any  close  connexion  between  the  two  systems. 
The  central  equation  itself  is  by  no  means  axiomatic. 
"  Good  Thought  "  is  at  any  rate  no  translation  of 
\6yos  Oeios,  and  the  functions  of  the  two  have  only 
superficial  identity.  As  we  see  below  (p.  98),  the 
Ameshas  have  features  of  proto-Aryan  antiquity,  and 
their  non-appearance  in  Achasmenian  religion  can  be 
accounted  for  on  a  very  different  theory.  When 
Darmesteter  says  (p.  Ixvii),  "A  Magus  of  the  old 
days  .  .  .  would  not  have  spoken  of  the  earth  as 
Spenta  Armaiti,"  he  seems  to  have  overlooked  the 
evidence  that  Aramati  was  genius  of  the  earth  in 
India,  and  therefore  presumably  in  Aryan  times.2  It 

1  Vohu  Manah,  also  "Best  (yahistdrn)  Thought/'  or  "Thy 
Thought  ''  in  addressing  Ahura  Mazdah. 

2  Unless  Carnoy  is  right  in  denying  the  truth  of  Sayana's  state 
ments  (on   Rigveda,   vii.    368  and  viii.  423)  :   see  Muscon,  n.s.,  xiii. 


is  very  easy  to  grant  much  of  what  Darmesteter 
urges  as  to  foreign  elements  in  the  later  parts  of  the 
Parsi  sacred  literature,  though  few  scholars  would 
now  care  to  regard  Judaism  as  a  source  of  such. 
Cumont,  in  the  first  chapter  of  his  great  work,  urges 
the  fundamental  differences  between  Achaemenian 
religion  and  the  Avesta,  which  in  this  case  will 
include  not  only  the  Vendidad  but  the  Gathas.  But 
this,  as  we  see  elsewhere,  only  means  that  Zara- 
thushtra  himself  had  not  kept  a  secure  hold  in  the 
kingdom  of  Darius,  nor  the  Magi  yet  gained  one 
among  the  Persian  nobility.  We  may  remove  the 
Gathas  from  the  sphere  of  Cyrus  and  Darius  in  space 
as  well  as  in  time ;  and  we  may  give  what  date  we 
please  to  Zarathushtra,  and  yet  allow  that  the  full 
effects  of  his  teaching  were  not  yet  seen  in  Persia  at 
the  period  where  history  opens. 

Darmesteter's  account  of  the  transmission  of  the 
Avesta,  based  on  the  Parsi  tradition,  undeniably  pre 
disposes  the  reader  to  infer  that  an  accurate  repro 
duction  of  a  really  ancient  scripture  was  impossible. 
Tradition  told  how  the  twenty-one  Nasks  were  lost 
in  the  invasion  of  Alexander ;  how  the  Parthian  king 
Valkhash  ( =  Vologeses  I.,  a  contemporary  of  Nero, 
according  to  Darmesteter)  ordered  the  scattered 
remnants  to  be  collected ;  and  how  the  founder  of 
the  Sassanian  dynasty,  Ardashir,  and  his  successor 
Shahpuhr,  completed  the  canon  two  centuries  later. 
A  priori  there  seems  every  reason  to  suppose  that 
the  ultimate  resultant  would  have  but  little  of  the 

1 33  n1.  I  do  not  think  Carnoy  adequately  accounts  for  the  genesis 
of  the  Indian  commentator's  gloss,  the  coincidence  of  which  with 
the  Avesta  gives  a  very  strong  presumption  of  its  originality. 


authentic  and  ancient  about  it,  and  a  great  deal  of 
heterogeneous  Sassanian  thought.  But  when  we 
have  to  give  chapter  and  verse  for  a  claim  that  this 
has  really  happened,  it  is  astonishing  how  little  can 
be  produced.  In  particular  we  have  a  test,  that  of 
metre,  which  by  itself  suffices  to  demonstrate  the 
originality  of  the  Gathas  and  of  large  portions  of  the 
Later  Avesta.  Darmesteter  frankly  admits  that  the 
Gathas  were  written  in  a  dead  language,  if  his  date 
is  to  hold.  Let  us  try  to  realise  what  this  involves. 

There  is,  of  course,  no  antecedent  impossibility  in 
such  composition.  All  of  us  who  have  written  Greek 
and  Latin  verse  in  our  undergraduate  days  know  that 
composition  in  a  dead  language  is  possible  enough, 
granted  very  careful  study  of  accurately  preserved 
models,  and  of  scientific  grammars.  Such  work  as 
that  which  charms  us  in  Walter  Headlam's  Book  of 
Greek  Verse  proves  that  it  can  be  done  supremely 
well.  But  where  were  the  models,  and  the  grammars  ? 
Sanskrit  has  been  written  for  ages  since  it  ceased  to 
be  a  living  language — thanks  to  Panini,  and  the  pre 
servation  of  an  immense  literature.  Have  the  very 
names  of  Panini's  Iranian  comrades  perished  ?  And 
what  about  existing  Gathic  verses  on  which  the 
priests  of  the  first  century  modelled  their  own  so 
cleverly  ?  We  are  to  suppose  that  the  innovating 
Neoplatonist  Magi  used  this  ancient  literature  to  help 
them,  and  then  committed  it  to  the  care  of  the  sacred 
fire,  lest  their  new-fangled  Amshaspands  should  be 
found  out.  It  hardly  seems  probable.  Darmesteter's 
earth  rests  on  an  elephant,  which  stands  on  a  tortoise. 
And  the  tortoise  ?  Oh,  nimporte  ! 

But  this  is  only  the  beginning  of  the  difficulties  in 


which  the  hypothesis  is  involved.  These  marvellous 
men  of  the  first  century  A.D.  had  two  dead  languages 
to  wrestle  with,  not  one  alone  !  If  the  coins  of  the 
Scythian  kings  Kanishka  and  Huvishka  (78-130  A.D.) 
prove  by  the  legends  2ao|0>/oa|o(Shahrevar)for  Khshathra 
Vairya,  and  the  like,  that  Gathic  Avestan  was  dead, 
they  prove  equally  that  the  Avestan  of  the  Yashts 
was  supplanted  by  Pahlavi.  At  the  very  least  we 
must  assume  that  the  poets  of  the  Yashts  lived  in 
another  province,  where  a  different  literature  in 
another  dead  language  was  preserved,  and  a  second 
remarkably  accurate  grammatical  tradition.  Or  per 
haps,  while  we  are  for  postulating  miracles,  we  may 
heighten  the  one  instead  of  devising  a  second.  Our 
grammarians,  the  peers  of  their  famous  Indian  brethren, 
were  able  to  preserve  both  dialects  and  keep  them 
well  differentiated ;  they  were  the  guardians  of  two 
literatures,  one  of  which  has  vanished  wholly  in  favour 
of  the  forged  Gathas,  and  the  other  has  left  an  un 
certain  quantity  of  fragments  behind,  mingled  with 
the  new  imitations.  This,  too,  seems  hardly  probable. 
We  come  then  to  the  special  test  anticipated  above. 
The  Gathas  are  confessedly  in  metre,  and  so  are  large 
portions  of  the  Yashts  and  later  Yasna.  The  metrik 
of  Gathas  and  Yashts  is  very  different,  and  the  one 
metre  that  governs  all  the  verse  of  the  Later  Avesta 
is  identic  in  principle  with  the  floka  of  the  later, 
classical  Sanskrit,  but  more  primitive,  inasmuch  as 
no  sense  of  quantity  has  yet  affected  the  prosody.1 

1  I  had  better  quote  what  I  have  written  in  ERPP  24  f.,  in  a 
chapter  devoted  to  Avestan  verse  terms : — 

"  We  have  noted  that  from  first  to  last  Avestan  verse  shows  no 
sign  of  dependence  on  quantity.  Long  and  short  syllables  are 


Gathic  metre  is  equally  primitive  in  this  respect,  but 
is  more  varied  and  original  in  its  terms.  But  the 
most  instructive  feature  of  Gathic  prosody  is  the  fact 
that  a  multitude  of  forms  refuse  to  scan  as  they  stand 
in  the  MSS.  correctly  spelt  after  the  standards  of  a 
later  day.  Thus  in  the  early  stanzas  of  the  first  Gatha 
we  find  y^aQre,  Armaitis.,  vauroimaidl,  where  the  metre 
demands  three,  four,  and  five  syllables  respectively. 
Etymology  and  comparison  with  Vedic  enable  us  to 
read  huvaQre,  Aramaitis,  vavaroimaidt,  which  suit  the 

entirely  indifferent,  and  the  student  of  prosody  has  only  to  count 
and  not  to  weigh.  Now  the  verse  of  the  Veda  has  manifestly 
passed  into  a  new  and  more  developed  stage,  in  which  (as  Prof. 
Arnold  puts  it)  '  preferences  arise  for  long  and  short  syllables  and 
for  groups  of  these,  at  certain  points  in  the  verse.'  Nor  is  this  the 
only  mark  of  development  on  the  Indian  side.  The  rules  of  vowel- 
combination  which  in  the  Rigveda  (according  to  Whitney)  cause  a 
vowel-ending  to  coalesce  with  a  vowel  initial  in  the  next  word  about 
seven  times  for  every  one  in  which  hiatus  is  left,  mark  a  great  change 
from  the  conditions  found  in  the  A  vesta,  where  this  '  sandhi '  is 
relatively  rare.  This  all  means  that  the  Rigveda  belongs  to  a 
very  much  more  advanced  stage  of  literary  evolution  than  any  part 
of  the  A  vesta,  although  the  latest  Avestan  poetry  must  be  centuries 
later  in  date  than  the  latest  hymns  of  the  Rigveda.  Indian  literary 
development  was  clearly  a  hothouse  plant.  The  Vedic  poets 
belonged  to  a  regular  craft,  like  Pindar ;  and  the  bardic  families 
had  no  doubt  been  elaborating  the  lines  of  their  models  for  genera 
tions  before  our  oldest  extant  hymn  was  composed.  In  Persia,  on 
the  othe  r  hand,  it  was  well-nigh  two  thousand  years  before  poets 
arose  who  cared  much  for  literary  form.  We  may  not  therefore 
argue  that  the  more  primitive  system  of  Gathic  verse  gives  the 
Hymns  of  Zarathushtra  higher  antiquity  than  the  oldest  Indian 
poetry  with  its  abundant  marks  of  literary  development.  But  when 
we  set  this  mark  of  primitive  simplicity  by  the  side  of  the  evidence 
from  language,  which  makes  us  recognise  Gathic  to  lie  at  least  as 
near  as  Vedic  to  the  parent  Aryan,  we  feel  it  increasingly  difficult 
to  acquiesce  in  the  traditional  date  for  the  Prophet,  if  the  Vedic 
poets  are  not  to  be  brought  down  out  of  the  second  millennium  B.C." 


metrical  requirements.  Geldner's  early  work,  Ubcr 
die  Metrik  des  jungeren  A  vesta  (Tubingen,  1877), 
proved  the  existence  of  similarly  hidden  metre  in  all 
the  verse  parts  of  Yashts,  later  Yasna,  and  Vendidad. 
In  these,  however,  the  verse  is  perpetually  interrupted 
by  prose,  which  usually  betrays  its  unoriginal  character 
by  internal  evidence  as  well  as  by  its  failure  to  scan. 
It  is  clear,  therefore,  that  the  secret  of  Later  Avestan 
prosody  was  lost  when  the  interpolations  were  made. 
The  Gathas  were  much  better  preserved,  and  the 
verse  form  is  relatively  less  often  interrupted  by 
misspelling,  and  practically  never  by  interpolation. 
They  were  doubtless  kept  from  injury  by  constant 
repetition  with  traditional  music :  if  the  music  was 
wanting  in  the  recitations  of  the  Later  Avesta,  the 
wholesale  accretions  of  prose  glosses  is  accounted  for. 
Having  thus  explained  how  the  Gathas  came  to  be 
preserved  in  a  form  which  enables  modern  science  to 
restore  their  metre  with  ease  and  certainty,  we  may 
go  on  to  observe  how  minutely  accurate  is  their 
language  according  to  the  tests  of  modern  philology. 
Gathic  inflexions  are  found  to  answer  with  uniform 
exactitude  to  those  of  Vedic  Sanskrit,  or  to  differ  in 
perfectly  explicable  ways,  the  Gathic  type  being  often 
more  primitive.  The  1st  sing.  act.  pres.  va-^yfi  is 
older  than  Vedic  -ami,  the  dat.  sing.  Ahurai  than  the 
Vedic  asuraya.  That  first-century  compositions, 
written  in  a  dead  language  which  only  the  priests 
knew,  could  have  been  made  proof  against  the 
microscopic  tests  of  twentieth-century  science  is 
unlikely  enough.1  It  is  equally  unlikely  that  men 

1  This  statement  does  not  involve  a  claim  that  the  Gathas  are 
impeccable  in  grammar.     The  recurrent  use  of  instrumental  case 


with  only  religious  interests  in  view  would  have  taken 
the  trouble  to  cultivate  linguistic  accuracy.  They 
had  a  public  far  less  critical  than  that  on  which 
Chatterton  palmed  off  his  Rowley  Poems. 

The  verisimilitude  of  the  Gathic  picture  of  Zara- 
thushtra,  his  friends  and  his  foes,  is  the  subject  of 
comment  elsewhere.  It  is  hard  to  see  how  anyone 
could  make  it  into  an  elaborate  myth.  Too  crabbed 
and  allusive  to  be  invented,  too  natural  and  at  times 
even  trivial  to  bear  any  allegorical  meaning,  the 
fragments  of  biography  discoverable  in  the  Gathas 
attach  themselves  without  a  suggestion  of  difficulty 
to  a  real  man,  doing  a  great  work  among  many  ad 
versaries,  but  triumphant  at  last  in  the  establishment 
of  a  pure  and  practical  religion.  The  Zarathushtra 
of  the  later  Avesta  rarely  suggests  the  possibility  of 
anything  but  myth.  But  to  make  the  Reformer 
into  a  legend  on  the  strength  of  the  absurdities  that 
gathered  round  his  name  is  as  reasonable  as  to  make 
the  Cyropcedia  a  pretext  for  doubting  the  existence 
of  Cyrus,  or  the  Apocryphal  Gospels  a  triumphant 
vindication  of  the  universal  scepticism  of  Robertson  1 

for  nominative  may  perhaps  be  assumed  to  have  some  syntactical 
ground,  though  it  is  hard  to  find  one.  But  occasional  lapses  like 
the  agreement  of  instr.  and  locative  in  Ys  3 113  (as  Prof.  Jackson 
notes)  may  be  the  exceptions  that  prove  the  rule. 

1  The  mention  of  Mr  J.  M.  Robertson  reminds  me  that  the 
historicity  of  Zarathushtra  goes  the  same  way  as  that  of  every  other 
notable  figure  of  religious  origins  in  his  Pagan  Christs—"  Menu  [sic  /], 
Lycurgus,  Numa,  Moses  "  (op.  cit.^,  238),  with  of  course  Buddha  and 
Jesus  of  Nazareth.  It  is  ill  arguing  with  a  polymath  who  can  set 
Prof.  Rhys  Davids  right  about  Buddhism,  and  all  the  Iranists  about 
Parsism — except,  by  the  way,  Geldner  and  Bartholomae,  of  whom 
he  does  not  seem  to  have  heard  !  The  cool  confidence  with  which 
he  declares  the  Gathas  inconsistent  with  the  reality  of  Zarathushtra's 


and  Drews.  The  Zarathushtra  of  the  Gathas  is 
historical,  and  in  my  judgement  he  himself  is  speak 
ing  there,  wholly  or  nearly  so.1  And  here,  as  I  have 
indicated,  I  am  only  echoing  all  the  most  recent 
criticism.  Geldner  and  Bartholomae  are  emphatic 
on  the  subject,  and  Prof.  Jackson  endorses  what  I 
have  written  here.  (He  notes  incidentally  that 
"when  Zarathushtra  speaks  in  the  third  person,  he 
is  simply  anticipating  by  a  millennium  and  a  half  all 
other  Persian  poets.")  If  this  claim  is  allowed,  we 
see  the  last  possibility  vanish  of  dating  the  poems 
late  enough  to  be  influenced  by  Platonism,  for  we 
certainly  can  find  no  room  for  him  in  any  part  of 
Iran  that  could  feel  Greek  influence  during  the 
centuries  of  Achsemenian  and  Arsacide  rule. 

The  only  live  question  as  to  the  age  of  the  Gathas 
concerns  our  choice  between  the  traditional  date  and 
a  higher  antiquity.  Since  a  large  proportion  of  the 
Gathic  verses  distinctly  profess  to  come  from  Zara 
thushtra  himself,  and  parts  which  do  not  so  profess 
show  every  sign  of  contemporary  date,  we  may  treat 
the  antiquity  of  the  Prophet  and  that  of  the  Gathas 
together :  there  is  no  discoverable  argument  for  dis 
trusting  the  overwhelming  impression  that  the  hymns 

person  will  only  induce  those  who  have  really  studied  the  Gathas  to 
discount  other  dicta  in  this  work  of  biassed  and  unscientific  learning 
— "pre-philological,"  as  Dr  F.  C.  Conybeare  well  called  it  in  his 
severe  review  (Literary  Guide  and  Rationalist  Review,  Dec.  1912). 

1  Prof.  Soderblom  says  (La  Vie  Future,  245),  "  C'est  au  viie  siecle 
que  Ton  peut  placer,  au  plus  lard,  Zarathustra  et  peut-etre  les  Gathas 
qui  sont  pourtant,  selon  toute  vraisemblance,  considerablement 
posterieures  au  prophete."  It  seems  to  me  that  there  are  many 
passages  in  the  Gathas  which  become  unintelligible  if  we  separate 

them  from  the  Founder's  own  circle. 



make  upon  our  minds  when  the  mythological  microbe 
has  been  removed.  For  an  earlier  date — to  quote 
only  writers  later  than  Prof.  Jackson's  classical  dis 
sertation1 — stand  Profs.  Geldner  and  Bartholomae. 
The  former  says  2  : — 

If,  then,  the  gathas  reach  back  to  the  time  of  Zoroaster, 
and  he  himself,  according  to  the  most  probable  estimate, 
lived  as  early  as  the  fourteenth  century  B.C.,  the  oldest 
component  parts  of  the  A  vesta  are  hardly  inferior  in  age  to 
the  oldest  Vedic  hymns. 

And  Prof.  Bartholomae  writes  (AirWb  1675,  s.v. 
ZaraQuUrd) : — 

While  I  hold  fast  to  Zarathushtra's  historical  character, 
I  regard  it  as  hopeless  to  determine  precisely  the  period  of 
his  appearance.  According  to  the  native  chronology  (see 
West,  SEE  xlvii.,  p.  xxviii),  Zarathushtra's  birth  falls 
in  the  year  660  B.C.,  and  Jackson  (Zoroaster,  174)  regards 
this  as  essentially  reliable  :  "  The  period  .  .  .  just  before  the 
Achaemenian  power  (is)  the  approximate  date  of  Zoroaster's 
life."  I  believe  we  shall  have  to  begin  decidedly  further 
back  ;  and  I  estimate  Jackson's  investigation  as  Tiele  does 
in  Geschichte  der  Religion  in  Altertum?  ii.  275  and  430. 

Bartholomae's  ipse  dixit  in  rejecting  Jackson's 
argument  will  carry  much  weight,  but  I  hardly  think 
that  the  reasons  he  actually  states  are  very  weighty. 
The  general  criticism  of  Jackson's  Zoroaster,  that  it 

1  See  his  Zoroaster,  pp.  150  ff.,  where  ancient  views  of  the  date  of 
Zarathushtra  are  summed  up,  and  the  case  presented  for  the  date 
that  stands  in  the  Parsi  tradition,  viz.  660-583  B.C.      His  argument 
is  endorsed  by  Justi,  Casartelli,  and  West. 

2  Enc.  Brit.11,  xxi.  246.     But  in  xxviii.  1041  he  quotes  E.  Meyer's 
date,  viz.  1000  B.C.,  and  adds  :  "This,  in  its  turn,  may  be  too  high, 
but,  in  any  case,  Zoroaster  belongs  to   a   prehistoric    era."     The 
volumes  of  the  new  edition  boast  their  simultaneousness,  but  here 
an  exercise  in  higher  criticism  seems  to  detect  a  time  interval  and 
a  change  of  view. 

.      THE   SOURCES  19 

sets  down  a  mass  of  matter,  probable  and  improbable, 
without  attempting  to  sift  it,  may  or  may  not  be 
justified  :  for  my  part,  I  have  never  read  the  book  as 
suggesting  that  Prof.  Jackson  accepts  all  or  any  of 
the  non-Gathic  stories  he  collects.  But  in  any  case 
it  cannot  apply  to  a  dissertation  in  which  the  author 
does  most  elaborately  sift  and  discuss  the  credibility 
of  the  various  elements  in  the  tradition.  Nor  does 
it  seem  to  me  that  the  native  chronology  stands  con 
demned  because  in  Yt  1397  the  holy  Saena  is  credited 
with  a  hundred  pupils,  and  the  chronology  further 
makes  him  born  on  the  centenary  of  the  Religion,  to 
die  on  its  bicentenary.  We  might  take  something 
off  all  these  centuries  and  yet  hold  that  other  elements 
in  the  system  are  approximately  sound.  1  say  this, 
though  myself  frankly  unconvinced  that  the  tradi 
tional  date  of  Zarathushtra  is  early  enough.  I  do 
not  feel  that  we  can  dogmatise,  but  I  cannot  help 
rather  accentuating  Prof.  Jackson's  own  admission 
that  we  could  do  with  a  longer  time  allowance.  I  will 
just  state  the  desiderata,  and  leave  the  case,  as  I  fear  it 
must  be  left,  with  the  traditional  date  as  a  minimum 
antiquity  and  a  desire  for  a  few  more  generations. 

To  begin  with,  we  seem  to  need  time  to  bring 
Gathic  nearer  in  date  to  the  Veda.  The  closeness  of 
Gathic  and  Vedic  is  extremely  marked,  and,  as  already 
observed,  the  Gathic  is  in  many  respects  the  more 
primitive.  Vedic  metre  is  decidedly  more  advanced 
than  Gathic,  as  we  saw  just  now.1  Now  of  course 

1  See  p.  1 4.  In  connection  with  Aryan  Metrik  it  is  interesting  to 
note  the  Gathic  vaf,  "sing  praise,"  which  properly  means  "weave" 
(cf.  pai/^wSos).  The  development  of  meaning  implies  a  rather  long 
poetical  tradition,  well  established  before  the  Aryan  tribes  divided. 


we  can  argue  that  a  poetical  school  might  develop  in 
two  generations  what  ten  generations  might  not 
produce  in  a  kindred  people  with  a  less  decided  taste. 
And  since  the  Iranians  remained  within  the  area 
occupied  by  the  united  Aryan  people,1  we  can  plead 
that  they  would  naturally  change  in  language  less 
rapidly  than  the  tribes  which  migrated  into  the  new 
environment  of  India.  Further,  it  may  well  be  argued 
that  we  cannot  date  the  Vedic  poetry  safely  within  a 
good  many  centuries,  though  expert  opinion  seems 
generally  to  assume  that  its  earlier  developments  at 
least  lie  well  beyond  the  limits  of  the  first  millennium 
B.C.  But  when  we  have  allowed  for  all  these  considera 
tions,  a  feeling  remains  that  we  have  not  removed  an 
a  priori  probability  that  a  very  few  centuries  at  most 
should  separate  the  two  literatures,  and  that  therefore 
we  must  put  the  Gathas  as  early  as  we  can. 

Next  comes  the  problem  of  fitting  in  the  Gatha 
Haptanghaiti.  It  is  in  prose,  but  this  must  not  weigh 
with  us ;  for  the  prose,  being  uniform,  was  doubtless 
due  to  deliberate  choice,  and  not  to  the  disappearance 
of  Gathic  ars  metrica.  But  while  it  is  in  the  Gathic 
dialect,  and  must  apparently  come  from  an  age  when 
the  dialect  was  still  a  living  idiom,  its  range  of  ideas 
differs  startlingly  from  that  of  the  verse  Gathas. 
The  most  characteristic  conceptions  of  Zarathushtra 
are  thrust  out  by  those  of  the  old  Aryan  nature- 
worship.  Apart  from  Ys  42,  which  Prof.  Mills  treats 
as  an  appendix  (probably  enough),  the  name  of 
Zarathushtra  does  not  appear  ;  and  if  we  give  up  our 
claim  that  the  Amesha  Spenta  were  in  some  sense  his 
special  creation,  we  might  put  this  Gatha  before  the 

1  See  ERPP,  31  f. 


Prophet's  time.  It  is,  however,  highly  unlikely  that 
prose  should  appear  so  early,  and  we  seem  compelled 
to  allow  the  lapse  of  time  enough  to  account  for  the 
gap  that  separates  these  compositions  from  the  Gathas 
proper.  Include  Ys  42  (or  its  second  stanza,  which 
alone  mentions  Zarathushtra),  and  we  are  in  a  com 
munity  that  worships  the  Prophet  but  ignores  the 
spirit  of  his  teaching :  omit  it,  and  we  see  the 
Mazdayasnian  folk  as  oblivious  of  him  as  the  royal 
author  of  the  Behistan  Inscription.  Either  alternative 
demands  an  adequate  interval  of  time,  unless  perhaps 
place  will  serve,  and  the  seven  chapters  may  come 
from  a  district  untouched  as  yet  by  the  Reform.  This 
involves  (1)  that  the  dialect  of  the  postulated  district 
was  identical,  or  had  been  assimilated  to  the  Gathic 
in  transmission,  and  (2)  that  the  Ameshas  are  older 
than  the  Reform  and  independent  of  it.  This  question 
we  must  discuss  separately.  Under  this  heading, 
then,  again  we  have  a  problem  of  which  the  easiest 
and  simplest  solution  comes  by  way  of  an  enlarged 
time  limit,  though  the  argument  admits  of  alterna 
tives.  We  look  at  the  case  for  the  tradition,  and  once 
more  we  are  left  indecisively  balancing  probabilities. 

Thirdly,  we  need  time  most  of  all  for  the  immense 
development  that  lies  between  Gathas  and  Yashts. 
As  in  the  Gatha  Haptanghaiti,  there  has  been  here  a 
most  marked  return  to  the  Aryan  religion  as  it  was 
before  the  Reform,  and  in  thought  as  in  metre  the 
Yashts  lie  closer  to  Indian  models  than  anything  in 
the  Gathas.  There  is  also  here  the  decidedly  later 
form  of  the  language.  It  may  very  possibly  (see  p.  23  f. ) 
be  connected  with  geographical  separation.  But  here 
there  is  also  the  certainty  of  later  date,  which  has 


produced  inter  alia  the  apotheosis  of  Zarathushtra. 
Unless  we  are  minded  to  excise  all  references  to  the 
Founder  as  belonging  to  another  age — though  on  the 
verse  test  many  of  them  must  be  as  old  as  any  other 
part  of  the  Yashts — we  have  to  grant  a  considerable 
period  for  the  growth  of  this  total  revolution  in  the 
conception  of  Zarathushtra  and  the  religion.  And  if 
we  ask  how  late  we  may  put  the  earliest  Yashts,  we 
are  met  with  a  chorus  of  vetoes  when  we  try  to  get 
past  Alexander.  Are  two  and  a  half  centuries  long 
enough  to  account  for  all  these  developments  ?  I 
cannot  pronounce  the  emphatic  No.  But  I  think  the 
considerations  here  advanced  may  make  us  disposed 
to  hear  the  counsel  for  the  tradition  and  then  bring 
in  a  verdict  of  Not  Proven. 

On  the  subject  of  the  date  of  the  Yashts  it  is 
necessary  to  say  a  little  more,  since  their  date  more 
or  less  affects  the  antiquity  of  the  Gathas.  I  am  on 
this  matter  in  complete  agreement  with  my  friend 
Prof.  Jackson,  who  places  the  Yashts  in  the  period 
just  before  Alexander.  Notices  of  Zarathushtra's 
successor  Saena  influence  his  decision,  and  the  re 
markable  coincidence  of  the  Anahita  Yasht  with  the 
records  of  Artaxerxes  Mnemon  and  his  encouragement 
of  her  cult.  As  we  shall  see  in  Lecture  II.,  the 
accounts  we  possess  of  the  religious  conditions  of  the 
later  Achsemenian  period  suit  the  contents  of  the 
Yashts  very  closely.  That  the  two  centuries  allowed 
by  this  date  give  room  for  the  Gathas  is  to  me,  as  I 
have  said,  increasingly  hard  to  believe,  when  the  two 
gaps  have  to  be  allowed  for  —  between  the  verse 
Gathas  and  the  Haptanghaiti,  and  between  this  and 
the  Yashts. 


There  are,  however,  one  or  two  other  indications  of 
date  in  the  Later  Avesta  which  should  be  examined, 
the  more  so  as  they  affect  the  fundamental  inquiry 
as  to  the  districts  from  which  we  may  assume  the 
various  parts  of  the  Avesta  to  have  come.  I  have 
sought  further  the  help  of  my  friend  Mr  E.  W. 
Maunder  of  Greenwich  Observatory,  as  to  the  data 
provided  by  the  Tishtrya  Yasht.1  He  now  raises  a 
difficulty  affecting  the  latitude.  The  four  "  Regent " 
stars,  guarding  the  four  quarters  of  the  sky,  seem  to 
be  identifiable  as  Sirius  (Tistrya],  the  Great  Bear 
(Hapto-iringa],  Vega  (f^anant),  and  Fomalhaut 
(Satavaesa),  the  first  two  being  quite  certain  and  the 
last  two  most  probable.  These  stars  would  all  be 
above  the  horizon  together,  and  not  far  from  it  for 

1  See  note  in  ERPP,  132:  it  will  be  convenient  to  quote  it : — 
"  On  this  point,  where  the  authorities  differ  considerably,  and  there 
is  no  evidence  how  far  the  opinions  expressed  are  supported  by 
experts  in  a  field  very  far  away  from  that  of  the  Zendist,  I  have 
thought  it  well  to  consult  my  friend  the  Rev.  R.  Killip,  F.R.A.S., 
who  has  kindly  secured  for  me  a  further  opinion  from  Mr  E.  W. 
Maunder  of  Greenwich  Observatory.  Mr  Maunder,  assuming  the 
latitude  38°  N.  (about  that  of  Merv)  and  the  epoch  of  400  B.C., 
says  that  at  the  moment  of  Sirius'  rising  (E.S.E.),  Fomalhaut  was 
setting  (S.W.  by  S.),  Vega  being  18°  high  (N.W.  by  W.)  and 
the  Great  Bear  wholly  visible,  with  rj  on  the  meridian,  sub-polar. 
f  Reviewing  the  whole  problem,  the  most  symmetrical  solution  would 
obviously  be  to  take  the  four  as  Sirius,  Fomalhaut,  Vega,  and  Charles' 
Wain.  All  four  would  be  close  to  the  horizon,  and  would  be  90° 
apart,  the  figure  being  a  little  slewed  round  with  regard  to  the 
meridian.'  Mr  Maunder  discusses  some  other  stars,  and  makes 
some  interesting  suggestions  as  to  the  possibility  of  using  the 
legend  for  determining  the  date — a  tempting  line,  but  beyond  our 
limits  here.  The  stars  I  have  given  are  the  same  as  those  for  which 
Geiger  decides  (Civilisation  of  the  Eastern  Iranians,  i.  141),  but  he 
puts  Satavaesa  in  the  West,  wrongly  interpreting  the  Pahlavi  evi 
dence  (Bartholomae)."  See  Bd  27  (SEE,  v.  12). 


the  latitude  38°  N.  and  the  epoch  400  B.C.  They  lie 
about  90°  apart,  and  when  Sirius  is  rising  they  would 
guard  respectively  the  East,  North,  West  and  South.1 
But  Mr  Maunder  now  notes  that  it  seems  "very 
unlikely  that  even  in  the  clear  air  of  the  Iranian 
plateau  two  stars  would  attract  attention  at  the 
moment  when  both  were  on  the  horizon,  and  one  of 
them  [Fomalhaut]  was  setting ;  and  even  if  they  were 
noticed  they  would  only  be  seen  together  for  a  few 
moments."  "  If  we  take  latitude  30°,  then  Sirius, 
Fomalhaut,  and  Vega,  and  the  seven  stars  of  the 
Great  Bear,  would  be  visible  together  at  the  rising  of 
Sirius  from  about  300  B.C.  to  800  B.C.  They  would 
all  be  above  the  horizon  together  for  a  considerably 
longer  period,  but  either  Fomalhaut  or  the  star  at 
the  tip  of  the  Bear's  tail  would  be  getting  too  near 
the  horizon  to  make  it  likely  that  it  would  be  actually 
observed."  So  far  we  are  being  led  to  seek  the  Yasht 
country  in  Arachosia,  which  would  suit  very  well, 
especially  as  it  enables  us  to  locate  the  Gathas  in  the 
north,  in  Bactria,  and  the  Yashts  half  way  towards 
India :  their  closer  relation  to  the  Vedas  is  noted 

But  there  are  more  serious  difficulties  to  come. 
The  Yasht  seems  to  point  unmistakably  to  the  period 
of  the  heliacal  rising  of  Sirius,  the  time  when  after 
seventy  days'  invisibility  he  first  emerges  victorious 
and  shines  in  the  morning  before  the  rising  of  the 
Sun.  But  Mr  Maunder  notes  that  "when  Sirius 
rises  heliacally  the  other  stars  practically  disappear. 
The  dawn  would  overcome  all  the  fainter  stars." 
Further,  for  latitude  30°  and  400  B.C.,  the  heliacal 
1  More  exactly,  S.E.,  N.E.,  N.W.,  and  S.W. 


rising  of  Sirius  was  about  July  13 :  it  is  some  three 
weeks  later  now.  "  But  on  the  Iranian  plateau, 
anywhere  you  like  to  take  from  the  Gulf  of  Oman  to 
the  Caspian  Sea,  or  further  north  to  Merv,  July  is 
one  of  the  driest  months  of  the  year.  It  is,  indeed, 
the  beginning  of  the  rainless  season.  The  rains  of 
the  whole  region  between  the  Persian  Gulf  and 
Turkestan  are  winter  rains  beginning  in  November." 
It  seems  clear  that  these  facts  knock  a  very  serious 
hole  in  our  interpretation  of  the  Yasht  and  drive  us 
to  find  its  meaning  in  a  very  different  quarter. 

And  here  my  astronomer  helpers  are  ready  with 
a  suggestion  which  is  little  less  than  sensational. 
"Reading  the  Tir  Yasht  again,  my  wife  and  I  are 
greatly  impressed,  and  the  impression  has  grown  with 
every  reading,  that  it  is  practically,  in  mythological 
guise,  a  description  of  the  breaking  of  the  south 
west  monsoon.  But  this  is  Indian,  and  does  not 
spread  to  Persia.  If,  therefore,  Tistar  means  the 
heliacal  rising  of  Sirius,  it  would  suit  very  well 
meteorologically  for  the  breaking  of  the  monsoon  in 
the  regions  round  Delhi,  Ajmir,  Jaipur,  and  that 

Did  then  the  Tishtrya  myth  originate  in  India  ? 
If  it  did,  Mr  Maunder's  information  further  helps  us. 
"  If  we  could  go  as  far  south  as  25  degrees,  then 
the  four  chieftains  would  all  be  visible  together  at 
the  rising  of  Sirius  from  about  900  B.C.  as  far  back  as 
I  have  gone,  which  is  about  1800  B.C."  Now,  suppose 
the  myth  is  really  Indian,  and  arose  well  back  in  the 
second  millennium.  We  are  very  short  of  straw  for 
our  bricks,  but  I  cannot  resist  a  tentative  effort,  even 
if  the  brick  is  doomed  to  crumble  under  criticism. 


Might  the  Tishtrya  myth  be  one  relic  of  a  prehistoric 
migration  out  of  India  backwards  to  the  north-west, 
of  which  the  Indian  gods  at  Boghaz-keui  (p.  5) 
mark  the  limit  ?  I  see  no  a  priori  reason  why  there 
should  not  have  been  an  ebb  of  the  tide :  some  tribes 
after  trying  India  for  a  generation  or  two  might  well 
strike  back  for  some  reason  or  other.  If  something 
of  this  kind  happened,  we  have  an  additional  stimulus 
for  the  primitive  Aryan  religious  conditions  observable 
in  the  Yashts,  and  for  other  features  in  which  we  see 
them  markedly  nearer  Indian  conditions  than  the 
much  older  Gathas.1 

Before  I  leave  this  astronomical  speculation  I 
may  mention  that  Mrs  Maunder  has  been  examining 
the  date  of  the  original  form  of  the  Bundahish 2  and 

1  For  a  perhaps  rather  daring  speculation  as  to  the  prehistoric 
movements  of  the  Aryan-speaking  tribes,  I  may  refer  to  my  essay 
referred    to    above    (p.    5,   note).       Here    I    have    examined    the 
linguistic    affinity    of    Sanskrit    with    the    West     Indo-European 
languages.    The  whole  mass  of  the  satam  languages  cuts  off  Sanskrit 
from  them ;  and  yet  they  agree  in  the  preservation  of  a  distinction 
between    bhdhgh   and    bdg,    which    the    satam   groups    confused. 
Certain   other  affinities  suggest  that   a    Germanic  tribe    migrated 
very  rapidly  from  the  West,  perhaps  in  the  middle  of  the  second 
millennium,  before    the  Indo-European   dialects    were  very  much 
differentiated,  and   imposed    their   language    on    a   satsm    folk    in 
Bactria  or  the  neighbourhood.     When  the  Indian  section  pushed 
southwards,  the   language   of  the  Gathic   people   left  behind  was 
gradually  assimilated  to  the  Iranian  around.     The  reader  is  asked 
not  to  judge  the  theory  from  this  summary  ! 

2  In  The  Observatory,  October  1912.     In  the  two  following  months 
Mrs  Maunder  pursues  the  subject,  and  I  am  very  sorry  that  I  cannot 
stay  to  summarise  her  argument,  which  students  of  the  Parsi  classics 
ought  to  read.     But  I  must  mention  that  she  and  Mr  Maunder, 
who  reinforces  her  argument  in  a  letter  to  me,  try  to  prove  that 
Tistrya  in  the  Yasht  means  not  Sirius  but  the  Sun.     Their  sti-ongest 
proof  is  that  in  the  Bundahish  account  of  the  conflict  with  Apaosha, 


arguing  for  the  middle  of  the  first  century  A.D.  I  must 
not  stay  to  comment  on  this  interesting  conclusion, 
which  only  indirectly  concerns  "Early  Zoroastrianism." 
But  as  I  must  quote  the  Bundahish  often,  on  the  as 
sumption  that  it  contains  much  fairly  early  matter,  it 
is  worth  chronicling  that  an  acute  specialist  in  another 
field  of  research  sees  reason  to  place  it  at  this  rela 
tively  early  epoch.  With  this  let  us  pass  on  to  another 
possible  chronological  datum  of  a  different  kind. 

The  nineteenth  Yasht,  as  Darmesteter  observes, 
"  would  serve  as  a  short  history  of  the  Iranian 
monarchy,  an  abridged  Shah  Nameh."  If  so,  we 
can  hardly  help  attaching  significance  of  some  kind 
to  its  silences.  The  royal  succession  comes  down  to 
Vishtaspa,  and  passes  on  immediately  to  Saoshyant 
(who  in  the  Yashts  is  a  purely  supernatural  figure),  to 
appear  in  the  future  at  the  Frashokereti.  It  seems 
fair  to  argue  that  the  Yasht  could  hardly  have  omitted 
the  great  names  of  Cyrus  and  Darius,  if  it  was 
composed  in  Persia  several  centuries  after  their  time. 
But  here  as  usual  the  argumentum  e  silentio  admits 
of  a  good  many  alternatives.  A  section  in  honour  of 

Tishtrya  is  said  to  be  "in  Cancer,"  which  of  course  no  orthodox 
Dogstar  could  be.  I  should  have  to  assume  that  the  Bundahish 
source  was  a  little  "mixed  "  in  its  astronomy,  unless  Mrs  Maunder's 
hint  can  be  used  that  "  Sirius  rose  heliacally  at  Delhi  when  the 
Sun  was  in  Cancer,  in  the  month  Tir,  and  the  breaking  of  the 
monsoon  was  in  suspense."  That  Greek  writers  [late,  with  the 
doubtful  exception  of  Archilochus]  confuse  the  Dogstar  and  the  Sun 
suggests  to  Mr  Maunder  that  the  brightest  of  the  stars  was  regarded 
as  his  representative.  But  Greek  evidence,  at  anyrate,  seems  to 
make  the  star  name  come  first.  In  the  Excursus  (p.  435  f.)  I  suggest 
that  Tira  was  distinct  from  Tistrya  and  used  to  represent  the 
planet  Mercury.  The  clear  statement  of  Plutarch  (below,  p.  402) 
shows  that  Sirius  was  very  prominent  in  the  Magian  system. 


Darius  and  his  successors  might  even  have  been 
suppressed  under  the  Arsacides,  more  philhellene 
than  the  Greeks  themselves;  or  other  causes  might 
be  invoked  to  explain  a  loss  which  was  so  painfully 
easy  in  centuries  in  which  it  is  the  survival  and  not 
the  disappearance  of  Avestan  texts  that  moves  our 
wonder.  Or,  again,  geographical  separation  may  be  the 
key  to  our  problem.  We  can  hardly  study  the  long 
lists  of  manifestly  genuine  but  utterly  unknown  names 
in  Yt  13  without  asking  whether  the  scene  of  all  this 
mysterious  literature  may  not  lie  in  some  part  of  Iran 
which  has  never  entered  the  stream  of  history.  Here 
again,  then,  we  are  making  bricks  without  straw. 

A  terminus  a  quo  seems  to  be  presented  with 
considerable  probability  in  Yt  1316,  on  which  I  may 
repeat  what  I  wrote  recently  in  ERPP,  p.  141  f. 

"  In  I.16  we  read  how  the  Fravashis  cause  a  man  to 
be  born  who  is  a  master  in  assemblies  and  skilled  in 
sacred  lore,  so  that  he  '  comes  away  from  debate ' 
a  victor  over  '  Gaotama.'  Now  Gotama,  which 
answers  exactly  to  this,  is  a  Vedic  proper  name,  and 
Bartholomae  is  satisfied  with  recognising  an  other 
wise  unknown  unbeliever.  Geldner  (in  1877)  took 
it  as  a  common  noun.  But  the  temptation  to  see 
here  Gautama  the  Buddha  is  extremely  strong. 
Darrnesteter  says  that  Buddhism  had  established  a 
footing  in  Western  Iran  as  early  as  the  second  century 
B.C.  Prof.  Cowell  used  to  point  out  that  pra$na, 
the  cognate  of  the  word  rendered  '  debate '  just  now, 
was  a  prominent  word  in  Buddhism.1  On  the  same 

1  But  it  must  be  noted  thatfrasna  appears  in  Yt  5sl,  where  the 
wizard  Aytya  asks  99  questions  of  the  holy  Yoista,  which  he  answers : 
the  wizard  is  an  Iranian  Sphinx,  but  rather  resembles  this  "Gaotema." 


side  is  a  concise  and  telling  argument  in  Prof. 
Jackson's  Zoroaster,  p.  177  f.  Accepting  this  view, 
first  suggested  by  Haug,  we  are,  in  Darmesteter's 
opinion,  brought  down  to  the  age  of  the  Arsacid 
dynasty ;  but  there  hardly  seems  adequate  reason  for 
rejecting  the  possibility  that  isolated  missionaries  of 
Buddhism  might  have  been  found  in  Iran  many 
generations  earlier,  and  Prof.  Jackson  gives  a  good 
argument  for  this  earlier  date  drawn  from  the  Yasht 
itself.  One  might  even  hazard  the  suggestion  that 
the  mistake  by  which  the  name  of  Gautama  is  trans 
ferred  to  a  man  who  preached  Gautama's  gospel,  may 
be  due  to  the  very  fact  that  the  preaching  was  thus 
isolated,  that  Buddhism  was  still  almost  unknown." 

Prof.  Jackson  (I.e.)  points  out  that  in  I.97  of  the 
same  Yasht  mention  is  made  of  Saena,  whose  date 
is  on  the  traditional  chronology  531-431  B.C.  (see 
above,  p.  19),  and  who  "  might  therefore  have  been 
a  contemporary  with  Buddha."  "In  the  case  of 
Gaot9ma  as  of  Saena,"  Prof.  Jackson  proceeds,  "the 
Yasht  may  be  alluding  to  one  who  is  born  after 
Zarathushtra,  and  may  be  hurling  anathemas  against 
an  opposing  and  heretical  religion  (and  that  religion 
Buddhism)  which  began  to  flourish  about  the  same 
time  as  the  Yasht  may  have  been  written." 

One  witness  from  antiquity  should  be  mentioned 
before  we  leave  the  subject,  especially  as  it  might 
seem  to  tell  in  favour  of  the  Sassanian  date  of  the 
Avesta.  In  the  latter  half  of  the  third  century  A.D. 
the  philosopher  Porphyry  writes  thus — the  original 
may  be  seen  in  Jackson's  Zoroaster,  p.  243  :— 

Yourself,  Porphyrius,  have  written  several  criticisms  upon 
the  book  of  Zoroaster,  showing  it  to  be  a  recent  forgery 


concocted  by  partisans  of  the  sect  [of  the  Gnostics, 
apparently]  with  a  view  to  commending  doctrines  they 
have  set  themselves  to  propagate  as  if  they  came  from  the 
ancient  Zoroaster. 

Now  of  course  these  words  would  be  completely 
justified  if,  as  Darmesteter  asserted,  the  part  of  the 
Sassanian  king  Ardashir  (211-241  A.D.)  and  his  high 
priest  Tansar  in  gathering  the  Avestan  texts  was  that 
of  composition  rather  than  collection.  And  it  is  no 
part  of  our  case  to  deny  that  Tansar  busied  himself 
in  both  ways.  Porphyry  is  not  likely  to  have  secured 
first-hand  witness  of  what  happened  at  the  court  of 
the  Persian  king ;  and  there  would  be  little  difficulty 
in  making  out  a  plausible  case  for  a  wholesale  forgery 
of  Zoroastrian  texts  in  the  fervour  of  the  revival. 
But  the  philosopher's  language  suits  much  better 
some  Gnostic  work,  an  anticipation  of  Manichean 
teaching  which  used  the  hoary  name  of  the  Iranian 
Prophet  after  the  familiar  manner  of  pseudepigraphic 
literature.  Vishtaspa's  name  was  notoriously  thus 
employed.  I  need  not  further  argue  that  even  if 
Porphyry  was  accurately  recalling  the  literary  activity 
of  the  newly  established  Sassanians,  which  began  not 
long  before  he  was  born,  our  case  for  the  antiquity  of 
the  Gathas  is  not  affected. 

One  more  argument  bearing  on  the  date  of  the 
Gathas  remains  to  be  mentioned.  Prof.  Eduard 
Meyer,  with  Geldner's  approval,  urges  from  the 
appearance  of  Mazdaka  as  a  proper  name  in  Media  as 
early  as  715  B.C.  that  "the  Zoroastrian  religion  must 
even  then  have  been  predominant  in  Media  "  (Geldner 
in  Enc.  Brit.}.  But,  as  Prof.  Jackson  notes,  the 
name  in  question  may  come  from  mazdah  just  as  well 


as  Mazdah :  even  in  the  Gathas  the  word  is  not 
invariably  a  proper  name.  But  there  is  a  far  stronger 
piece  of  evidence  than  the  name  Mazdaka  could 
supply,  even  if  we  allowed  that  it  is  a  theophoric 
appellation.  Prof.  Hommel's  discovery  of  the  divine 
name  Assara  Mazas  in  an  Assyrian  inscription  of  the 
reign  of  Assur-bani-pal l  involves  an  antiquity  for  the 
name  Ahura  Mazdah  higher  than  any  scholar  could 
venture  to  assign  to  Zarathushtra,  whose  claim  to  the 
authorship  of  this  characteristic  title  must,  I  fear,  be 
abandoned.  The  inscription  itself  is  rather  later  than 
the  date  of  the  name  Mazdaka,  but  the  archaic  form 
of  Ahura  Mazdah's  name  takes  us  back  at  least  into 
the  second  millennium,  and  some  way  back.  To  the 
phonetic  indications  described  elsewhere2  may  be 
added  the  fact  that  Assara  Mazas  is  followed  by  the 
seven  good  spirits  of  heaven  (Igigi]  and  the  seven 
evil  spirits  of  earth  (Anunnaki}.  This  means  that 
the  deity  has  been  pretty  thoroughly  assimilated  to 
Semitic  conditions,  as  we  shall  see  when  we  come  to 
discuss  the  bearing  of  these  facts  on  the  problem  of 
the  Amshaspands.  Phonetic  and  historical  evidence 
therefore  converge  on  the  deduction  that  the  name 
Ahura  Mazdah,  in  an  earlier  form,  was  in  existence 
long  before  Zarathushtra.  Asura  -  Ahura  being 
already  a  generic  name  for  the  highest  deities,  we 
have  to  postulate  the  addition  of  a  cult  epithet  "  the 
Wise,"  attached  to  one  great  deity3 ;  some  would  say 

1  See   Proceedings   of  the  Society  for   Biblical  Archaeology,    1899, 
p.    132.     I  have  to  thank  Dr  C.  H.  W.  Johns  for  the  reference,  the 
importance  of  which  has  been  largely  overlooked. 

2  See  the  detached  note  below,  p.  422  f. 

3  I  may  mention  here  a  daring  conjecture   of  my  friend   Prof. 
H.  M.  Chadwick.     Starting  from  the  fact  that  the  Semitists  seem 


Varuna,  who  in  the  Veda  forms  a  pair  with  Mitra,  as 
Ahura  and  Mithra  do  in  the  Yasht  addressed  to  the 
latter.  Probably  this  took  place  in  a  very  limited 
circle,  so  that  long  after  on  the  Behistan  Rock  Ahura 
Mazdah  could  be  called  "  god  of  the  Aryans,"  that  is, 
presumably  the  nobles  of  Aryan  race  living  among 
a  people  largely  or  mainly  of  a  different  stock, 
indigenous  to  the  country. 

I  pass  on  from  what  might  seem  to  be  a  digression, 
were  it  not  that  candour  seems  to  demand  the 
examination  of  an  argument  which  proves  to  con 
tribute  nothing  reliable  towards  the  evidence  for  the 
antiquity  of  the  Gathas.  We  shall  not  need  it,  I 
venture  to  urge,  after  weighing  the  considerations 
already  brought  forward.  The  position  of  Cumont 
must  be  sketched  before  we  leave  the  Avesta.  One 
sentence  will,  however,  suffice  for  our  present  purpose. 
"  A  fact  which  cannot  to-day  be  contested,"  he 
says,1  "  is  that  Avestan  Zoroastrianism,  whatever  its 
antiquity,  was  not  practised  by  all  the  inhabitants  of 
ancient  Iran."  He  emphasises  the  contrasts  between 
the  Avestan  ritual  and  the  cultus  of  the  Achaamenian 
kings,  points  out  that  Mithraism  is  nearer  to  their 
religion  than  is  the  teaching  of  the  Avesta,  and 
observes  that  not  the  Amshaspands  but  Mithra  and 
Anahita  first  appeared  as  sharers  of  Auramazda's 
throne  and  made  an  impression  on  the  Graeco- Roman 

very  doubtful  about  the  meaning  and  etymology  of  the  great  god 
Asshur,  he  suggests  that  it  may  have  been  simply  Asura  adapted. 
Hommel's  discovery  would  encourage  the  possibility,  one  would 
think ;  but  the  Semitists  must  be  left  to  deal  with  the  suggestion. 
If  accepted,  we  have  fresh  arguments  for  a  cultus  of  this  Aryan 
deity  long  before  Zarathushtra. 
1  Textes  ei  Monuments,  p.  4. 



world.  All  this  we  shall  have  to  meet  later  on,  but 
it  may  be  said  at  once  that  geographical  separation 
will  account  for  it  quite  as  well  as  a  theory  that 
makes  the  Amshaspands  late.  This,  however,  is 
Darmesteter's  position,  not  Cumont's,  for  the  latter  is 
at  pains  to  show  (see  below,  p.  104  f.,  430  f.)  that  all 
six  of  them  supplied  names  for  the  Cappadocian 
Calendar  some  centuries  B.C.  If,  apart  from  this 
exception  and  the  evidence  of  the  Later  Avesta,  the 
Amshaspands  are  invisible  until  the  first  century,  it 
is  only  because  the  Reform  was  slow  in  making  its 
way  among  the  people  of  Western  Iran,  if  indeed  it 
ever  did  so,  until  the  Sassanian  era  :  it  seems  to  have 
remained  in  the  West  the  religion  of  the  more  intel 
lectual  classes — which  is  extremely  natural.  And 
when  we  find  Cumont  feeling  strongly  the  difficulty 
of  postulating  early  date  for  poems  so  recondite  and 
abstract  as  the  Gathas,  is  it  not  enough  to  reply  that  a 
great  religious  genius  is  always  far  beyond  his  age  ? 1 
With  the  Avesta  we  must  class  the  mass  of  the 

1  To  these  notes  on  Prof.  Cumont's  position  I  might  append  one 
on  a  point  made  by  him  in  a  Congress  paper  reported  in  RHR 
xxxvi.  26l.  He  calls  the  Avesta  the  work  of  a  closed  reforming 
caste  not  anterior  to  the  Sassanides — which  for  its  present  form 
we  admit.  He  goes  on  to  say  that  the  texts  do  not  allow  us  to 
decide  whether  there  was  a  rudimentary  Avesta  in  Achaemenian 
and  Arsacide  ages.  Basil  and  Eznik  say  the  Magi  had  no  books, 
while  Pausanias  attributes  some  to  them.  Are  we  to  regard  Basil 
and  Eznik  as  better  witnesses  than  Hermippus  ?  (The  remark  of 
Dr  S.  Reinach  in  the  discussion,  that  the  frequent  comparison  of 
Magi  and  Druids  proves  the  former  to  have  had  no  book,  strikes 
me  as  curiously  inconclusive.)  After  all,  if  Magi  in  certain  districts 
did  not  use  a  sacred  book,  it  agrees  with  all  we  expect  to  find  from 
)ther  indications:  elsewhere  we  know  they  had  such.  Prof.  Cumont 
ndicated  that  a  reconciliation  of  the  data  was  possible. 


later  Pahlavi  literature,  of  which  The  Sacred  Books  of 
the  East  contains  a  very  important  selection.  Since 
these  all  fall  in  a  late  period,  a  millennium  or  more 
after  the  date  we  have  fixed  for  our  limit,  they  can 
of  course  only  be  used  incidentally.  That  they  can 
be  used  at  all  is  due  to  the  evident  fact  that  they 
contain  a  large  though  indeterminate  amount  of 
Avestan  matter  otherwise  lost — some  of  it  decidedly 
early,  as  we  saw  above,  p.  26  f.  The  extreme 
difficulty  of  determining  the  date  of  the  late  prose 
contained  in  the  Avesta  itself,  which  includes  the 
bulk  of  the  Vendidad,  is  of  course  even  exceeded 
by  the  problem  that  meets  us  when  we  try  to 
speculate  on  the  antiquity  of  Avestan  fragments 
contained  in  Pahlavi  books,  or  in  passages  written  in 
Pahlavi  which  claim  to  be  paraphrased  from  lost 
Avestan  matter.  The  grammatical  chaos  which  pre 
vails  so  often  in  prose  parts  of  the  Avesta,  or  in 
what  appear  to  be  interpolations  of  prose  inserted  in 
the  older  verse,  demonstrates  that  the  later  Avestan 
dialect  was  dead  when  these  belated  efforts  at  com 
position  were  made.  They  may  therefore  very  well 
be  due  to  the  Sassanian  editors  themselves,  to  whom 
in  any  case  we  owe  the  collection  and  preservation  of 
our  Avesta.  But  unless  on  any  point  we  happen  to 
have  datable  Greek  witness,  we  are  left  to  conjecture 
when  we  try  to  determine  the  antiquity  of  elements  for 
which  Pahlavi  writers  are  our  only  Iranian  authority. 
The  old  Persian  Inscriptions,  and  especially  those 
on  the  great  Behistan  Rock,  are  a  tempting  subject 
for  digression,  but  I  must  keep  to  relevant  matter, 
which  in  this  case  goes  very  little  beyond  bare 
mention.  The  interpretation  of  the  inscriptional 


data  affecting  religion  will  come  before  us  in  the 
second  Lecture.  The  far-reaching  consequences  of 
the  colossal  achievement  by  which  the  men  of  the 
early  nineteenth  century  read  the  secret  of  Darius 
are  apparent  to  all  students  of  cuneiform-written 
languages  to-day.  The  task  of  decipherment  seems 
to  be  finally  accomplished  now ;  and  the  would-be 
gleaner  at  Behistan,  equipped  as  he  must  be  with  the 
faculties  of  the  Alpine  climber  as  well  as  of  the 
scholar,  has  little  prospect  of  new  discoveries.  There 
is  something  specially  fascinating  about  the  one  piece 
of  modern  writing  which  Prof.  \A^illiams  Jackson  dis 
covered  on  the  face  of  the  Rock  below  the  records 
of  Darius.  The  habit  of  courting  immortality  by 
cutting  names  on  rock  or  building  or  tree  is  attested 
in  papyrus  letters  from  ancient  Egypt  and  in  too 
frequent  irritations  of  modern  experience.  But  for 
one  indulgence  of  this  kind  the  sternest  censor  will 
feel  nothing  but  sympathy.  "  With  an  iron  pen 
graven  in  the  rock  for  ever,"  may  be  read  below  the 


H.  C.  RAWLINSON,  1844; 

and  those  who  can  best  appreciate  one  of  the  most 
splendid  triumphs  of  the  brain  of  man  will  be  readiest 
to  allow  that  name  its  right  to  stand  there. 

Upon  the  rest  of  our  Iranian  sources  we  need  not 
dwell,  for  they  will  come  up  when  wanted  for  special 
purposes.  The  newly  discovered  treasures  of  Turfan 
lie  far  outside  our  period,  but  that  they  are  eminently 
relevant  will  be  speedily  realised  by  anyone  who  reads 
the  supplement,  one  quarter  the  size  of  the  original 
book,  which  Bartholomae  has  added  to  his  Dictionary. 
Much  later  still  is  Firdausi's  Shah  Nameh,  but  we 


shall  find  frequently  that  its  stores  of  ancient  Iranian 
saga  and  folklore  will  help  us  in  our  study  of  the 
origins  of  Zoroastrianism. 

Finally  we  come  to  the  Greek  and  Latin  writers,  who 
afford  us  evidence  of  the  utmost  importance  because 
of  the  precision  with  which  we  can  generally  date  their 
information.  Before  Anquetil  Duperron  brought  the 
Avesta  to  Europe,  the  classical  sources  were  naturally 
almost  the  only  evidence  upon  which  historians  of 
Persian  religion  could  rely.  Thomas  Hyde's  great 
book,  which  indirectly  stimulated  Anquetil's  fine 
ambition,  was  published  more  than  two  centuries  ago, 
but  remains  a  valuable  tool  to-day  because  of  its 
treatment  of  material  accessible  before  Avesta  or 
Inscriptions  were  known.  A  few  of  the  most  im 
portant  loci  classici  will  be  found  translated  and 
annotated  below.1  The  limitations  of  these  foreign 
testimonies  were  easily  allowed  for,  and  I  think 
experience  gives  the  inquirer  a  higher  sense  of  their 
value.  This  is  especially  the  case  with  our  oldest 
witness,  Herodotus,  to  whom  alone  I  need  refer  in 
this  context.  I  leave  to  historians  very  cheerfully 
the  duty  of  estimating  the  general  reliability  of  the 
"  Father  of  History  "  ;  but  I  must  bear  my  testimony 
to  his  character  as  a  source  for  the  delineation  of  the 
popular  religion  of  Persia  in  the  fifth  century.  Thirty 
years  ago  Prof.  Sayce  brought  out  an  edition  of  the 
first  three  books  which  in  many  ways  seemed  intended 
to  be  an  up-to-date  reissue  of  the  ancient  tract  De 
Malignitate  Herodoti.  I  am  not  qualified  to  express 

1  Herodotus,  i.  131-140  (p.  391  if.);  Plutarch,  his  and  Osiris, 
46  f.  (p.  399  ff.) ;  Strabo,  xv.  3,  13  ff.  (p.  407  ff.)  ;  Diogenes  Laertius, 
Procem.  ad  init,  (p.  410  ff.). 


an  opinion  as  to  the  bulk  of  the  Professor's  strictures, 
which  range  over  a  large  proportion  of  the  field  ap 
propriated  by  one  of  the  most  encylopsedic  Orientalists 
of  our  time.  But  in  the  corner  of  that  field  in  which  I 
have  tried  to  work  I  have  found  that  a  generation  of 
research  has  antiquated  not  the  ancient  historian  but 
his  modern  annotator.  Some  of  the  grounds  of  this 
opinion  will,  I  hope,  make  themselves  apparent  in  the 
later  pages  of  this  volume.1 

Our  survey  needs  only  to  be  completed  by  a  bare 
reference  to  epigraphic  sources  to  which  reference 
will  occasionally  be  made.  A  rescript  of  Darius 
comes  to  us  in  Greek,  and  a  long  inscription  from 
King  Antiochus  of  Commagene  (first  century  B.C.).2 
Coins  of  the  Indo-Scythian  kings,  in  Greek  letters, 
afford  some  important  indirect  evidence  that  we  shall 
have  to  weigh.  And  there  are  the  monuments  of 
Mithraism,  scattered  all  over  Europe,  which  will  be 
borne  in  mind  during  sundry  parts  of  our  inquiry, 
although  we  shall  shortly  realise  that  their  direct 
connexion  with  the  subject  is  but  small.  I  have  by 
no  means  exhausted  the  list  of  sources  which  we  shall 
have  to  study,  but  I  have  said  enough  to  prepare  for 
the  investigations  that  will  follow. 

1  I  need  hardly  say  that  I  do  not  suggest    the    indiscriminate 
acceptance  of  Persian   material    in    Herodotus.     He    could   make 
Darius,  for  instance,  talk  Greek  in  more  senses  than  one  (e.g.  in. 
72).     But  the  line  is  generally  easy  to  draw. 

2  The  text  of  the  "  Gadatas  "  inscription  of  Darius  may  be  seen 
with   Dittenberger's  notes  in  his  Sylloge    Inscriptionum    Grcecarum, 
1-4  (No.  2).     Those  on  the  monument  of  Antiochus  of  Commagene 
are    in    the    same    great    epigraphist's    Orientis    Greed  Inscriptiones 
Selectee,  591   ff.  (Nos.  383-401).     The  religious  importance  of  the 
Antiochus  inscriptions  is  discussed  below,  p.  106  f. 



The  Persian — zealous  to  reject 
Altar  and  image,  and  the  inclusive  walls 
And  roofs  of  temples  built  by  human  hands — 
To  loftiest  heights  ascending,  from  their  tops, 
With  myrtle- wreathed  tiara  on  his  brow, 
Presented  sacrifice  to  moon  and  stars, 
And  to  the  winds  and  mother  elements, 
And  the  whole  circle  of  the  heavens,  for  him 
A  sensitive  existence,  and  a  God, 
With  lifted  hands  invoked,  and  songs  of  praise. 

WORDSWORTH,  The  Excursion,  book  iv. 

WE  are  not  ready  yet  to  study  the  personality  and 
the  work  of  the  thinker  and  prophet  whose  name 
gives  us  our  subject.     It  is  never  possible  to  under 
stand  a  religious  reform  without  first  understanding 
that  which  was  reformed.     So  I  must  prepare  the  way 
further  for  Zarathushtra  by  investigating  the  beliefs 
and  practices  of  the  people  to  whom  he  came.     It  in 
volves  anticipating  some  subjects  the  proper  place  for 
which  will  come  later  on,  but  I  must  repeat  my  assump 
tion  that  the  foundations  and  framework  of  the  Zoro- 
astrian  system  are  known.     I  am  not,  as  I  said  before, 
attempting  a  complete  exposition  of  Zoroastrianism 
as  it  stands,  but  inquiring  into  its  origin,  growth,  and 
essential  character ;  and  for  this  purpose  the  order  I  am 
adopting  seems  least  open  to  practical  disadvantage. 



There  are,  as  I  read  the  history,  two  main  strands 
in  the  rope,  apart  from  that  which  Zarathushtra 
himself  supplies.  One  of  these  will  form  the  subject 
of  inquiry  when  we  have  examined  the  history  and 
teaching  of  the  Prophet  himself;  for  it  seems  fairly 
certain  that  it  was  outside  his  own  knowledge,  though 
in  existence  before  his  time.  The  work  of  the  Magi, 
as  we  shall  see,  was  to  build  on  Zarathushtra's 
foundation  a  superstructure  which  (to  put  it  very 
moderately)  was  not  in  all  respects  after  Zarathushtra's 
style.  The  question  before  us  now  is  the  religious 
position  of  the  people  to  whom  he  came.  What 
were  the  beliefs  which  he  inherited,  which  he  had  to 
accept,  to  adapt,  or  to  reject?  Our  evidence  for  this 
inquiry  will  be  of  very  varied  character.  We  examine 
by  the  comparative  method  the  prehistoric  conditions 
of  the  Aryan -speaking  tribes  before  their  division 
into  Indian  and  Iranian  as  indicated  in  Lecture  I. 
We  pursue  our  researches  into  the  period  of  the 
Achiemenian  kings  in  Persia,  and  from  their  monu 
ments  and  the  works  of  the  Greek  historians,  especially 
Herodotus,  we  try  to  picture  the  religion  of  the  court 
and  of  the  people. 

The  first  question  which  should  be  settled  is  that 
concerning  the  religion  of  the  early  Achasmenian 
kings.  The  debate  on  this  famous  problem  is  perhaps 
not  likely  to  be  closed  with  any  decisiveness,  the  data 
being  curiously  ambiguous.  I  cannot  present  the 
material  here,  but  it  is  really  unnecessary,  as  it  has 
been  done  so  well  by  experts  who  (for  once)  do  not 
require  us  to  go  outside  English.  Indeed,  there  is 
a  penny  pamphlet  by  Bishop  Casartelli  which  supplies 
all  the  quotations  that  are  really  germane  to  the 


subject,  with  the  comments  of  a  scholar  who  carries 
the  utmost  weight.1  Of  a  more  technical  character 
is  the  very  full  discussion  by  Prof.  Williams  Jackson 
and  Dr  L.  H.  Gray.2  Dr  Gray  gives  us  a  careful 
summary  in  his  excellent  article  on  the  Achasmenians.3 
With  researches  of  outstanding  importance  available 
for  every  reader,  I  may  content  myself  with  merely 
stating  my  own  view  and  offering  a  few  comments. 

We  begin  with  Cyrus.  His  position  might  seem 
to  be  removed  from  the  range  of  discussion  by  the 
summary  dictum  of  Prof.  Eduard  Meyer  that  "it 
cannot  be  doubted  by  any  unprejudiced  mind  that 
Cyrus  was  a  Zoroastrian.'"  It  will  be  seen  from  his 
words  quoted  below  that  this  is  mainly  an  inference 
from  the  Zoroastrianism  of  Darius,  which  Meyer 
asserts  is  patent  from  every  word  of  his  Inscription. 
The  specialists  are  by  no  means  so  clear  about  Darius, 
and  in  the  case  of  Cyrus  it  is  hardly  too  much  to  say 
that  the  "prejudice"  which  Meyer's  dictum  implies 
in  any  who  question  it  seems  to  have  afflicted  them 
with  distressing  uniformity.  Dr  L.  H.  Gray  remarks 
that  "  there  is  no  evidence  whatever  to  show  that  he 
was  a  Zoroastrian."  Dr  Casartelli  records  the  doubt 
whether  Cyrus  was  an  "  Auramazdean  "  like  Darius, 

The  Assyrian  cuneiform  inscriptions  of  that  famous 
conqueror  portray  him  rather  as  a  polytheist,  inasmuch  as 
he  proclaims  himself  to  the  Babylonians  the  servant  and 

1  -  The  Religion  of  the  Great  Kings  (Catholic  Truth  Society). 

2  Journal  of  the  American  Oriental  Society,  xxi.  (1901),  p.  164-184. 

3  ERE,  i.  69-72  (1908). 

4  Enc.  Brit.,  xxi.  205  :  cf.  Gesch.  d.  Alt.,  iii.  21  (".  .  .  wird,  wer  die 
Sachlage  besonnen  iiberlegt,  nicht  bezweifeln  ;  sonst  miisste  die 
Religion  bei  Darius  als  Neuerung  auftreten  "). 


the  worshipper  of  the  Assyrio-Babylonian  gods.  .  .  .  This 
— it  may  at  least  be  supposed — was  done  in  order  to  please 
his  new  subjects,  and  to  gain  the  favour  of  the  powerful 
sacerdotal  body. 

That  Meyer's  ipse  dixit  in  itself  would  be  accepted 
more  readily  than  almost  anyone's  is  undeniable,  and 
in  questioning  it  here  I  am  rather  denying  than  yield 
ing  to  a  "  prejudice."  We  have  nothing  whatever 
from  Cyrus's  own  hand  which  could  possibly  bear 
on  the  question,  except  the  "  Cylinder  Inscription  " 
with  its  profession  of  loyalty  to  Marduk,  and  the 
rescript  in  Ezra  (I2'3)  where  he  declares  that 
Yahweh  is  God.  I  do  not  draw  the  conclusion  that 
Cyrus  was  a  polytheist,  for  Darius,  the  fervent  wor 
shipper  of  Mazdah,  makes  the  like  concessions  to  his 
foreign  subjects  ;  but  they  will  hardly  be  claimed 
as  evidence  that  he  really  adored  only  the  deity 
who  is  not  mentioned  !  Of  course,  in  the  absence  of 
Old  Persian  inscriptions  from  him,1  the  silence  about 
Mazdah  is  intelligible  enough.  But  it  will  not  do  for 
us  to  compensate  for  the  silence  by  a  mere  "  doubt 
less,"  which  is  all  too  often  the  cloak  for  a  total 
absence  of  evidence.  We  have  in  fact  only  two 
sources  of  information  to  eke  out  Meyer's  not  very 
conclusive  argument  about  the  improbability  that 
Darius  was  an  innovator.  We  turn  naturally  to  the 
Cylinder  for  what  it  may  give  us,  which  certainly  is 
very  little  indeed.2  The  one  conspicuous  point  we 

1  The    Murghab    inscription    ("  I    am    Cyrus    the     King,    the 
Achaemenian " )   will  not  help  us — even   if  it  were    quite   certain 
that  it  does    not  belong  to    Cyrus    the   Younger,   who  might   be 
X$(iya6iya  in  the  same  sense  as  Darius's  ancestors  had  the  title. 

2  C.   J.    Ball,   Light  from    the    East,    p.    224    f.,    translates    the 
inscription.       A  microscopic    criticism    might   note  that    Cyrus   is 


observe  is  the  relation  in  which  the  great  king  stands 
to  Marduk  of  Babylon.  The  theory  of  local  divinities 
could  not  be  more  emphatically  stated.  Marduk  is 
angry  because  Nabonidus,  anxious  to  make  Marduk 
supreme,  had  removed  the  shrines  and  images  of  the 
local  deities  to  Babylon,  which  was  his  own  locality. 
They  in  turn  are  angry  at  being  removed  away  from 
their  own  place.  So  Cyrus,  restoring  all  to  their 
homes,  and  establishing  Marduk  as  lord  in  Babylon, 
supreme  because  Babylon  itself  had  such  primacy, 
enjoys  the  favour  of  all  the  gods  alike. 

Dr  Gray  seeks  for  material  in  the  Cyropccdia  of 
Xenophon,  and  very  acutely  points  out1  that  its 
subtle  coincidences  with  our  Iranian  evidence  make 
its  testimony  much  less  negligible  than  it  is  usually 
supposed  to  be.  I  think  he  makes  a  strong  case,  but 
that  he  has  omitted  to  show  how  Xenophon  bridged 
the  gulf  of  a  century  and  a  half  between  Cyrus  and 
his  own  Persian  travels.  When,  on  the  strength  of 
Xenophon's  evidence,  which  Dr  Gray  thinks  the  most 
reliable  we  have,  the  religion  of  Cyrus  is  inferred  to 
be  nearest  to  that  set  forth  in  the  Later  Avesta,  we 
note  the  proof  as  striking  and  helpful,  but  for  the 
religion  of  Artaxerxes  Mnemon  rather  than  that  of 
Cyrus.  If  we  regard  Cyrus  as  probably  a  Mazdean 
—not  a  Zoroastrian,  however — it  will  be  because 
Ahura  Mazdah  was  "  god  of  the  Aryans  "  (p.  32),  and 
Cyrus  belonged  to  an  eminently  Aryan  clan.  If  it 

again  and  again  "King  of  the  Four   Regions"   (N.,  S.,  E.,   W.), 
which  is  an  obvious  contrast  to  the  Seven  Kargvars  of  the  Later 
Avestan.     But  of  course  Cyrus  (or  his  Babylonian  secretary)  uses 
the  idioms  as  well  as  the  language  of  Babylon. 
1  ERE,  i.  70. 


was  possible  to  be  a  Mazdean  without  ever  having 
heard  of  Zaruthushtra,  we  have  nothing  left  as  proof, 
and  next  to  nothing  amounting  to  a  presumption,  that 
Cyrus  had  come  in  contact  with  the  Reform.  His 
creed  was  more  probably  the  popular  Iranian  nature- 
worship  described  so  accurately  by  Herodotus  in  the 
locus  classicus  we  shall  be  taking  up  presently.  In 
many  particulars  its  elemental  worship  would  agree 
sufficiently  with  Babylonian  and  Elamite ;  and  "  the 
God  of  heaven"  in  the  Ezra  rescript  suits  his  own 
religious  phraseology  perfectly,  especially  if  his  chief 
god  was  Diyaus,  the  sky.1  Since  he  and  his  ances 
tors  ruled  in  a  country  which  was  not  Iranian,  we 
naturally  expect  to  find  non- Aryan  traits  in  any 
account  of  him  and  his  ideas. 

One  solitary  scrap  of  evidence  in  favour  of  Cyrus's 
connexion  with  Zoroastrianism  I  am  bound  to  present 
before  I  leave  him,  and  1  believe  the  point — valeat 
quantum  ! — is  new.  He  called  his  daughter  Atossa, 
which  is  identified  with  the  Avestan  Hutaosd.  This 
was  the  name  of  Vishtaspa's  queen  ;  and  of  course 
the  name  of  Vishtaspa  himself,  Zarathushtra's  royal 
patron,  was  perpetuated  in  the  Achaemenian  family, 
in  Hystaspes  the  father  of  Darius.  I  do  not  think 
the  double  coincidence  can  be  accidental.  How  much 
does  it  prove  ?  We  will  return  to  this  when  we 
come  to  Darius,  from  whom  we  are  detained  for  a 
moment  by  the  intervention  of  Cambyses.  It  seems 
almost  grotesque  to  discuss  the  religion  of  one  whom 
only  the  accident  of  birth  and  time  rescued  from 
segregation  as  a  criminal  lunatic.  But  maniac  though 
he  was,  we  should  expect  him  to  be  restrained  by 
1  On  this  see  below,  pp.  60  f.,  391  f. 


superstition ;  and  it  is  therefore  significant  that  he 
had  no  fear  of  the  wrath  of  the  sacred  element  when 
he  burnt  the  corpse  of  Amasis.1  This  fact  may 
be  put  with  similar  notes  from  the  life  of  Xerxes, 
and  with  the  well-known  argument  from  the  burial 
of  the  Achsemenian  kings,  to  show  that  the  Magi 
had  not  yet  come  upon  the  scene :  for  all  this  see 
p.  215  f.  The  other  fact  about  Cambyses'  religion 
is  the  Egyptian  text,  quoted  by  Dr  Gray,  which 
shows  him  worshipping  the  goddess  Neit  at  Sais,  as 
Darius  did  after  him.  He  acted  presumably  from  a 
very  real  fear  of  the  possible  consequences  of  offending 
the  local  gods  in  foreign  countries,  where  omne  ignotum 
pro  magnifico  probably  counted  more  heavily  than  the 
politic  motives  which  preponderated  with  statesmen 
like  Cyrus  and  Darius. 

Before  we  pass  on  to  consider  the  religion  of 
Darius,  a  man  for  whom  religion  was  obviously  a 
very  real  experience,  we  may  look  into  some  questions 
concerning  the  Achaemenians  in  general.  I  quoted 
just  now  what  seems  to  be  Prof.  E.  Meyer's  one 
reason  for  regarding  Cyrus  as  a  Zoroastrian — his 
unwillingness  to  make  Darius  an  innovator.  It  is 
important,  therefore,  to  notice  considerations  leading 
us  to  postulate  a  rather  marked  difference  between  the 
two  branches  of  the  Ha\ilmani$iya  clan.  Cyrus  was 
king  in  Elam,  while  Darius  expressly  claims  that  his 
ancestors  were  "royal"  from  Achsemenes  down,  and 
possessed  "  this  kingdom  which  Gaumata  the  Magian 
took  from  Cambyses  .  .  .  both  Persia  and  Media  and 
the  other  provinces"  (Bh  i.  12).  Media  at  any  rate  was 
not  ruled  by  Achaemenians  before  Cyrus ;  but  Persia 
1  Herodotus,  iii.  16. 


may  well  have  been.  Cyrus  reigned  over  a  people 
among  whom  Aryans  were  at  best  a  small  minority,1 
but  his  own  Aryan  descent 2  is  emphatically  endorsed 
by  the  statement  of  Darius  that  he  was  "  of  our 
family"  (Bh  i.  10),  that  is,  the  Achsemenian.  Accord 
ing  to  the  Assyrian  inscription  of  Cyrus,  he  was  son  of 
"  King  Cambyses  of  the  city  Ansan,"  who  was  son  of 
Cyrus,  son  of  Teispes,  both  also  Kings  of  Ansan. 
This  makes  Hystaspes,  Darius's  father,  third  cousin 
to  Cyrus,  Teispes  (Caispis)  being  a  common  ancestor. 
If  we  are  to  take  Darius  literally,  we  can  make  him 
"  ninth "  in  royalty  by  counting  the  royal  line  of 
Ansan  from  Achiemenes  to  Cyrus,  fifth  in  succession, 
and  then  adding  the  (younger  ?)  branch  Ariaramnes, 
Arsames,  Hystaspes,  Darius.  The  difficulty  is  that 
neither  Hystaspes  nor  his  father  and  grandfather  are 
ever  called  kings.  If  they  exercised  any  kind  of 
royalty,  it  must  have  been  in  some  other  province, 
such  as  Parthia,  where  Hystaspes  wins  a  victory  for 
Darius  in  Bh  ii.  16.  It  may  be  noticed  that  Darius 

1  Compare  E.  Meyer's  statement  (Enc.  Brit.11,  xxi.  203)  that  the 
kings  of  the  Mitanni  on  the  Euphrates   bore  Iranian  names,  but 
ruled  over  people  speaking  lion- Iranian  language.     Meyer,  by  the 
way,  makes    the    Medes    Iranian :    they   reached    W.    Iran  before 
900  B.C. 

2  The  names  Kurus  and  Kambujiya  are  of  disputed  etymology, 
but  there  is  no  reason  whatever  to  doubt  their  being  Aryan.    I  do  not 
think  there  has  been  any  suggestion  more  attractive  than  that  made 
long  ago  by  Spiegel  (Altpers.  Keilinsch.'2,  96)  that  they  attach  them 
selves  to   Skt  Kuru  and  Kamboja,  originally  Aryan  heroes  of  fable, 
whose  names  were  naturally  revived  in  a  royal  house.      Spiegel 
thinks  that  the  myths  about  Cyrus  may  have  originated  in  confusion 
between   the   historical  and  the  mythical   heroes.     (Kamboja  is  a 
geographical  name,  and  so  is  Kuru  often :  hence  their  appearance 
in  Iranian  similarly  to-day  as  Kur  and  Kamoj.) 


does  not  say  his  ancestors  were  "  Great  Kings  "  like 
himself,  or  the  ancestors  of  Cyrus  in  the  latter's 
inscription  above  referred  to  (quoted  from  Spiegel, 
op.  cit.  84).  A  more  local  sovranty  will  satisfy  his 

Suppose,  then,  that  Darius's  branch  of  the  family 
were  chieftains  in  Parthia,  where  Hystaspes  is  found 
after  his  son  had  won  the  supreme  throne.  We 
remember,  of  course,  that  Herodotus  tells  us  that  he 
was  inrapxos  in  Persia.  If  we  had  to  choose  between 
Herodotus  and  the  Behistan  record,  the  Greek  historian 
must  naturally  yield.  But  there  is  no  real  difficulty, 
for  when  Darius  was  once  on  the  throne  his  satraps 
could  be  moved  very  easily,  and  he  would  naturally 
wish  to  have  his  father  nearer  to  his  own  court.  But 
when  it  was  a  matter  of  quelling  a  serious  rebellion, 
probably  among  the  subject  population,  there  would 
be  obvious  advantages  in  sending  Hystaspes  to  a 
country  over  which  he  and  his  ancestors  had  ruled. 
On  this  conjecture,  then,  Parthia  becomes  an  earlier 
settlement  of  the  conquering  Aryan  invaders,  from 
which  a  prince  of  the  Achasmenian  house,  Cyrus's 
ancestor,  went  on  to  conquer  Elam. 

Now  Parthia  is  exactly  the  district  in  which  we 
should  expect  to  find  the  earliest  traces  of  Zoro- 
astrianism  proper.  Lying  east  of  "  Zoroastrian 
Ragha,"  on  the  way  towards  Bactria,  it  suits  equally 
well  both  the  possible  theories  of  Zarathushtra's  sphere 
of  teaching.  He  or  his  successors  must  have  preached 
to  the  Parthians  as  soon  as  the  Religion  began  to 
extend  beyond  its  original  home,  whichever  of  the 
two  centres  may  claim  it.  And  this  brings  us  to  the 
remarkable  coincidence  noted  above,  in  the  recurrence 


of  the  names  of  Vishtaspa  and  his  queen  Hutaosa 
in  the  father  of  Darius  and  the  daughter  of  Cyrus. 
Antiquity  even  tended  to  confuse  the  two  royal 
Vishtaspas,  which  may  be  taken  as  a  slight  indication 
that  the  name  was  not  common.  The  repetition  of 
this  very  significant  name  in  the  family  of  a  monarch 
whose  Zoroastrian  faith  is  attested  by  many  lines  of 
evidence,  as  we  shall  show,  is  by  itself  suggestive. 
But  of  course,  if  Vishtaspa's  name  is  significant  for 
Darius's  branch  of  the  Achsemenians,  Hutaosa's  must 
be  equally  significant  for  that  of  Cyrus.  The  names 
must  at  least  prove,  I  think,  that  the  memory  of 
the  great  king  was  kept  alive  in  both  branches 
of  the  family  ;  nor  is  it  unlikely  that  it  was  cherished 
on  religious  as  well  as  on  secular  grounds.  But 
when  we  remember  how  quickly  after  Zarathushtra's 
time  all  but  the  most  superficial  features  of  his 
teaching  were  practically  lost,  and  only  rediscovered 
in  an  esoteric  circle  by  the  preservation  of  the 
Gathas  in  worship — a  subject  which  will  come  before 
us  in  Lecture  III. — we  realise  that  to  prove  Cyrus 
a  Zoroastrian  in  any  effective  sense  demands  evidence 
that  his  ancestors  had  maintained  the  traditional 
lore  in  a  country  where  the  religion  of  the  people 
was  wholly  alien  in  spirit,  and  in  the  face  of  a 
powerful  tendency,  observable  in  all  the  metrical 
Later  Avesta  itself,  to  fall  back  upon  the  old  Iranian 
nature- worship.  As  a  great  champion  of  Mazdah- 
worship  Vishtaspa  might  well  be  commemorated 
in  Cyrus's  family ;  but  there  is  complete  absence  of 
proof  that  for  Cyrus  his  name  signified  more  than 
this,  which  we  have  seen  to  be  on  other  grounds 
very  probable. 


This  brings  us  to  ask  what  tests  we  should  apply  to 
determine  the  presence  of  elements  due  to  Zarathush- 
tra's  Reform.  We  saw  in  the  last  Lecture  that  the 
worship  of  Ahura  Mazdah  must  be  abandoned  for  this 
purpose,  however  reluctantly,  since  there  is  conclusive 
reason  to  believe  that  he  was  adored  in  a  tribe  which 
could  contribute  to  the  Assyrian  pantheon  centuries 
before  the  earliest  possible  epoch  for  Zarathushtra's 
mission.  The  sacrifice  of  this  test  is  a  most  serious 
complication  in  our  problem,  and  may  even  preclude 
the  possibility  of  any  really  decisive  solution.  But  in 
the  case  of  Darius  we  have  really  strong  evidence  to 
support  the  conclusion  of  Prof.  Geldner  that  "  Darius 
and  his  successors  were  without  doubt  devoted  adher 
ents  of  Zoroastrianism."1  Meyer's  difficulty  as  to  a 
religious  innovation  is  met  by  E.  W.  West's  proof 
that  Darius  probably  reformed  the  Calendar  in  a 
Zoroastrian  direction ;  see  SBE,  xlvii.  pp.  xliii-xlvii. 
That  Darius  was  a  fervent  wrorshipper  of  Auramazda 
may  not  prove  Zarathushtra's  influence,  but  it  is  of 
course  consistent  with  it.  But  what  of  his  failure  to 
mention  Zarathushtra  himself,  Angra  Mainyu,  and  the 
Amesha  Spenta  ?  The  first  omission  is  intelligible 
enough,  if  the  Prophet  was  a  figure  of  the  distant 
past,  but  not  yet  elevated  (by  Magian  theology)  into 
a  supernatural  being.  Taking  the  Gathas  as  generally 
representative  of  Darius's  religion,  we  might  fairly 
say  that  the  omission  is  no  stranger  than  that  of  Paul's 
name  would  be  in  a  historical  rescript  by  some  pious 
medieval  king,  perpetually  ascribing  his  triumphs  to 
the  grace  of  "  God  and  Our  Lady,"  but  silent  about 
the  Apostles,  to  whose  writings  he  would  of  course 

1  Enc.  Brit.,  s.v.  "  Zoroaster." 


attribute  the  whole  of  his  religious  belief.1  As  to 
the  absence  of  Angra  Mainyu,  the  usual  answer  is 
probably  sufficient,  that  the  spirit  of  Zarathushtra's 
doctrine  is  adequately  reproduced  by  the  frequent 
mention  of  "  the  Lie  "  (drauga),  which  appears  in  the 
Avesta  as  draoga,  and  (in  a  different  flexion)  as  £)ruj. 
Now,  as  we  shall  see  later  on,  it  is  actually  not  true 
that  Angra  Mainyu  was  Zarathushtra's  name  for  the 
Evil  Spirit.  The  combination  only  occurs  once  in  the 
Gathas  (Ys  452,  see  pp.  135  f.,  370),  and  it  is  there  no 
more  a  proper  name  than  is  the  corresponding  English 
when  Milton  calls  Satan  "  Enemy  of  God  and  man." 
The  name  for  the  Evil  Spirit  in  the  Gathas  is  nearly 
twenty  times  Druj,  "  the  Lie."  I  point  out  (below, 
p.  136)  that  the  Later  Avestan  transference  of  this 
casual  appellation,  which  thus  became  a  proper  name, 
is  really  the  work  of  the  Magi,  and  very  possibly  de 
pends  upon  an  association  of  the  two  words  "  enemy  " 
and  "  liar,"  which  actually  occurs  in  Darius's  inscrip 
tion.  That  being  so,  we  can  see  that  the  king's 
language  is  most  remarkably  in  accord  with  the 

1  My  parallel  does  not  convince  Dr  Casartelli,  who  writes  (May  4, 
1913):  "  Don't  you  think  the  omission  of  Z.'s  name  in  the  Royal 
Inscription  a  much  more  extraordinary  one  than  that  of  Paul  (or 
Peter  for  the  matter  of  that)  in  a  medieval  text  ?  Would  it  not 
be  nearer  to  the  entire  omission  of  the  name  of  Buddha  in  Asoka's 
Inscriptions,  or  of  Mohammed  in  Islamitic  ones  ?  "  I  must  naturally 
lay  some  weight  on  my  doctrine  that  in  Darius's  day  the  more 
abstruse  features  of  Zarathushtra's  teaching — such  as  his  personal 
relation  to  his  followers  at  the  Last  Day — had  been  dimmed  by 
time.  And  the  practical  apotheosis  of  the  Prophet,  which  seems 
necessary  for  Dr  Casartelli's  comparisons,  was  on  my  theory  entirely 
the  work  of  the  Magi,  and  later  than  Darius.  Nor  is  Zarathushtra's 
absence  more  remarkable  than  it  is  in  the  Haptanghaiti,  if  we  take 
the  one  occurrence  as  a  later  addition. 



Gathas,  since  every  form  of  evil  reduces  itself  to  this 
one  term.  Every  rebel  chief  "  lies,"  not  merely  when 
like  Gaumata  he  personates  a  member  of  the  royal 
house,  but  when  he  simply  leads  the  native  population 
in  an  effort  to  shake  off  the  Achsemenian  yoke.  The 
objection  accordingly  turns  to  a  positive  argument 
in  favour  of  Darius's  acceptance  of  Zarathushtra's 

The  one  really  serious  omission  having  thus  ex 
plained  itself,  we  need  not  trouble  very  much  over 
the  absence  of  the  Amshaspands  from  Darius's  great 
Inscription.  We  shall  be  seeing  later  on  (p.  431  f.) 
that  the  Parsi  Calendar  is  traced  on  strong  evidence  to 
Darius,  and  that  the  present  names  of  the  months 
therein  bear  very  strong  marks  of  his  hand.  If  this 
is  true,  these  most  characteristic  of  Zarathushtra's 
concepts  were  exceedingly  familiar  to  Darius,  and 
their  absence  from  State  documents  needs  no  elaborate 
explanation.  But  indeed  there  are  not  wanting  fairly 
close  parallels  to  ideas  included  within  this  innermost 
circle  of  Zarathushtra's  thought.  Thus  the  recurrent 
vaSna  Auramazdaha  (forty-one  times  in  Darius's  in 
scriptions),  "by  grace  or  will  of  Auramazda,"  differs 
little  from  Vohu  Manah  in  such  passages  as  Ys  3310, 
vohu  u-xsya  manavha  .  .  .  tanum,  "  bless  my  body  by 
the  Good  Mind."  When  Darius  says  (Bh  i.  5) 
Auramazda  y$a&am  mana  frdbara,  "Auramazda 
gave  me  the  kingdom,"  he  means  a  kingdom  of 
this  world ;  but  the  two  worlds  were  in  the  Persian 
mind  so  closely  parallel  that  the  x^a^a  °f  Auramazda 
would  be  a  necessary  corollary  to  that  of  his  earthly 
vicegerent.  Then  we  might  say  that  siyatis,  "  wel 
fare,"  which  in  the  recurrent  formula  Auramazda 


"made  for  man,"  is  not  far  away  from  Haurvatat, 
the  Amesha.  That  the  conception  of  Truth  was 
supreme  in  Persian  ethics  needs  no  proof;  and  Asha 
included  this  as  its  primary  element,  as  Plutarch's 
rendering  'A\jJ0«a  illustrates,  and  the  fact  that  Asha 
is  the  avriTexyo?  of  the  Druj.  So  if  the  Amesha 
were  not  formally  present,  the  ideas  which  lay  behind 
them  as  divine  attributes  were  not  far  away.  We 
may  add  the  recently  restored  arstdm  in  Bh.  iv.  13, 
conjectured  by  Foy  and  then  read  by  Jackson  on  the 
Rock :  this  is  an  abstract  word  (for  arfltatQm),  "  up 
rightness,"  almost  exactly  identical  with  the  Avestan 
yazata,  closely  akin  to  the  Amesha  in  character, 
Arstdt  (  =  arsta-tdt],  to  which  it  answers  like  iuventa 
to  iuventas  in  Latin.  Less  significant,  but  not  quite 
negligible,  is  the  occurrence  in  the  Inscription  of 
one  Avestan  fiend,  that  of  Drought  (Dusiydrd,  Av. 
Duzydiryd,  qs.  *3wr»pla).  Dr  Gray  notes  also  the 
mention  of  the  other  great  affliction  of  the  agri 
culturist,  the  nomad  "horde"  (O.P.  haina,  Av. 
haend),  associated  with  Drought  in  both  texts. 

The  negative  argument  for  Darius's  Zoroastrian 
position  may  be  noted  before  we  begin  to  face  the 
arguments  con.  Darius  is  of  course  no  monotheist 
in  the  strict  sense  of  the  word — any  more  than  the 
pre-prophetic  Israelites,  who  regarded  Yahweh  as 
supreme,  but  believed  the  gods  of  the  nations  to  be 
regnant  powers  in  their  own  lands.  Darius  acknow 
ledges  occasionally  the  help  of  Auramazda  "  and  the 
other  gods  that  exist "  (utd  aniyd  bagdha  tyaiy  hantiy}? 
or  A.  M.  hadd  viOaibis  or  viOibis  bagaibis?  "with  all 
the  gods  "  or  "  with  the  clan  gods  "  :  which  of  the  two 

1  Eh  412  al.  2  Dar.  Pers.  d3. 


readings  must  be  taken  we  cannot  determine  finally. 
The  meaning  of  baga  comes  out  well  in  the  Persepolis 
inscription  of  Artaxerxes  III.  (Ochus],  where  we  find 
mam  Auramazdci  utd  M{9ra  baga  pdtuv,  "  may  A.  M. 
and  the  baga  Mithra  protect  me."  Now  Auramazda 
is  maQista  bagdndm,1  "greatest  ofbagas"  and  in  the  oft- 
repeated  creed  of  Darius  and  his  successors2  he  is 
expressly  baga  vazarka,  just  as  Darius  himself  is 
XSdyaOiya  vazar/ca.  But  it  looks  as  if  even  in  the 
days  of  Artaxerxes  III.  the  godhead  of  Auramazda 
was  so  high  above  that  of  the  "  other  gods  "  that  he 
and  Mithra  would  never  be  called  bagdha  conjointly, 
any  more  than  the  "  Great  King  "  would  have  shared 
the  title  -^dyaBiya  with  the  inferior  kings  who  are 
implied  in  the  title  \ScLya6iya  ysdyaQiyandm.  We 
have  therefore  a  subordination  of  other  divinities 
as  emphatic  as  in  the  Gathas  themselves ;  and  the 
Oca?  Oewv  is  the  same  as  in  Zarathushtra's  preaching. 
So  near  an  approach  to  monotheism  we  can  hardly 
trace  to  coincidence  ;  and,  in  spite  of  many  difficulties, 
it  seems  best  to  regard  Zarathushtra  as  the  ultimate 
author  of  the  creed  which  so  obviously  comes  from 
Darius's  heart  of  hearts  on  the  columns  of  triumphant 
exultation  at  Behistan. 

So  we  may  turn  to  the  difficulties.  These  are 
forcibly  put  by  Dr  Gray,  in  his  summary  of  the 
evidence  from  non-Iranian  texts  (op.  cit.  p.  180,  and  the 
more  recent  article  in  ERE,  i.  69-73).  Darius  speaks 
(Bh  i.  14)  of  the  "places  of  worship"  (dyadand)  which 
he  restored  after  Gaumata  the  Magian  had  destroyed 

1  Bartholomae  (AirWb,   292   f.)   points   out  the  parallel   mazisto 
vazatanqm  in  Yt  1716. 

2  See  p.  122  below. 


them.  Here  the  Babylonian  and  the  New  Susian 
versions  alike  render  "  houses  of  the  gods."  Dr  Gray 
is  "  inclined  to  consider  ayadana  as  including  not 
only  the  fire-altars  of  the  ancient  Persians,  but  the 
fanes  of  nations  subject  to  the  sway  of  Darius."  This 
tolerance,  he  says,  was  not  "  in  harmony  with  Zoro- 
astrian  teaching  "  :  it  was  a  "  politic  course,"  "  like  that 
of  Cyrus  when  he  not  only  sent  back  the  captive 
gods  from  Kutu,  but  also  built  them  their  temples 
anew  (Cylinder  Inscr.  32),  or  when  he  restored  the 
Temple  at  Jerusalem."  (It  may  be  noted  in  passing 
that  Prof.  Hommel1  takes  a  very  different  view  of 
this  action  of  the  Magus.  According  to  him,  Gaumata, 
being  a  Magian,  and  therefore  a  Mede,  shared  the 
Persian  horror  of  temples  and  destroyed  them  as  an 
act  of  fanaticism :  Darius  restored  them  out  of  respect 
for  the  popular  beliefs.  Hommel  thinks  Darius 
was  the  first  to  introduce  Avestan  religion  into  the 
Persian  kingdom,  with  certain  concessions  to  popular 
feeling.  Why  I  entirely  dissociate  the  Magi  from 
the  Aryan  population  I  have  explained  in  Lecture  VI.) 
Similarly  —  to  return  to  Dr  Gray — "  Cambyses  re 
paired  the  desecrated  temple  of  Neit  at  Sais,  and  with 
a  spirit  quite  as  alien  to  that  of  the  Zoroastrian 
reform."  Dr  Gray  quotes  next — after  an  argument 
in  favour  of  "  all  the  gods  "  rather  than  "  clan  gods  " 
(see  above),  on  evidence  drawn  from  the  versions — 
the  well-known  Gadatas  inscription  of  Darius.2  In 
this  rescript,  preserved  for  us  in  an  Ionic  Greek  form 
on  a  stone  some  five  centuries  after  Darius,  the  king 

1  Geographic  (in  Iwan  Miiller's  Handbuch  d.  klass.  Altertumswissen- 
xcfutft),  p.  201. 

2  See  p.  37 :  he  cites  II."-28. 


sharply  chides  a  satrap  for  violating  the  sanctity  of  a 

precinct  of  Apollo,  ayvowv  e/nwv  Trpoyovwv  e/?  TOV  6eov  [v~\ovv, 
o?  Hepa-ai?  etTre  [7racr]a[v]  arpexJ[t]fJ[v].  Dittenberger, 
whose  supplements  are  printed  here,  understands  the 
"  ancestors "  to  be  his  predecessors  Cyrus  and 
Cambyses.  Darius  tells  Gadatas l  that  he  was  mis 
representing  him  to  Apollo's  worshippers — rtjv  virep 
Oecov  /ULOV  SidOea-iv  cxfravifyis.  Here  Dr  Gray  finds  an  almost 
"polytheistic"  tone.  But  in  an  inscription  found 
between  Tralles  and  Magnesia,  concerning  (surely  ?)  a 
Greek  god  whose  oracles,  like  those  of  Delphi,  had 
been  valued  by  Persian  kings,  we  must  expect  to 
meet  with  language  adapted  to  Greek  conditions. 
Finally,  Dr  Gray  quotes  an  Egyptian  inscription  in 
which  Darius  calls  himself  son  of  the  goddess  Neit, 
to  whose  special  favour  he  owes  his  victory. 

These  quotations,  we  may  readily  concede,  show 
that  Darius  was  no  fanatic.  His  religious  position 
was  remarkably  like  that  of  King  David,  whose 
passionate  devotion  to  Yahweh  proved  perfectly 
consistent  with  a  conviction  that  leaving  Yahweh's 
land  involved  entering  the  service  of  "  other  gods " 
(1  Sam.  2619) ;  or,  again,  that  of  Elisha,  who  seems 
to  have  acquiesced  in  Naaman's  belief  that  he  could 
only  raise  an  altar  to  Yahweh  on  soil  brought  from 
Palestine.  In  foreign  lands,  therefore,  the  king  must 
propitiate  the  gods  of  the  soil,  just  as  the  Assyrians 
provided  for  the  return  of  a  native  priest  to  teach 
"  the  manner  of  the  god  of  the  land  "  to  their  colonists 
whom  they  had  planted  in  Samaria  (2  Kings  1726  ff.). 
According  to  ancient  ideas  there  was  quite  as  much 
real  belief  as  there  was  "  political  shrewdness "  in 

1  Who  was  surely  not  a  "  Greek/'  as  Dr  Gray  calls  him. 


the  action  of  Darius,  Cyrus,  and  Cambyses  towards 
foreign  deities.  Even  Jews  were  practising  a  much 
more  remarkable  tolerance,  as  the  new  Aramaic 
papyri  from  Elephantine  have  shown  us  lately. 
Moreover,  in  any  case  we  have  no  reason  to  credit 
Darius  with  the  whole  creed  of  the  Gathas.  He  was 
probably  further  removed  from  Zarathushtra's  day 
than  was  the  Gatha  Haptanghaiti ;  but  he  is  a  better 
Zoroastrian  than  the  authors  of  those  prayers,  on  any 
showing,  and  less  of  a  polytheist. 

One  point  of  interest  made  by  Dr  Gray  seems  to 
tell  distinctly  against  his  general  thesis.  He  tells  us 
that  whereas  the  Old  Persian  inscriptions,  like  the 
Avesta,1  have  the  word  "  Lie  "  only  in  the  singular, 
and  in  this  are  supported  by  the  New  Susian  version, 
the  Babylonian  version  "  uses  the  plural  of  the  corre 
sponding  parsu  *  Lie '  in  the  two  passages  in  which 
the  word  occurs,"  especially  Bh  i.  10,  "the  Lie 
became  rife  in  the  land."  He  infers  very  naturally 
that  "  the  usage  would  seem  to  bespeak  personifica 
tion  among  the  Persians,  but  not  among  the  Baby 
lonians  "-  —who  were  thus,  in  fact,  no  Zoroastrians  like 
the  former. 

To  the  objections  raised  by  Dr  Gray — with  de 
cidedly  less  emphasis,  if  I  understand  him  rightly,  in 
his  newest  article  (in  ERE,  i.) — may  be  added  one 
from  Bishop  Casartelli's  pamphlet.  Dr  Casartelli 
presses  the  argument  from  the  silence  of  Behistan  as 
to  Zarathushtra  himself  and  Angra  Mainyu,  and 
declares  himself  unsatisfied  with  any  of  the  "  several 
ingenious  solutions "  which  have  been  proposed  for 
the  problem  of  the  differences  between  Behistan  and 

1  [Yt]  2429  is  noted  as  no  real  exception,  being  late. 


the  A  vesta.  The  resemblances  which  I  have  tried 
to  bring  out  seem  to  me  so  striking  that  I  feel  bound 
to  add  to  the  tale  of  attempted  solutions,  and  cherish 
the  fond  hope  that  my  learned  friend  may  find  it  a 
less  "  rash  theory  "  than  its  predecessors.  He  has  a 
further  difficulty  in  the  silence  of  the  Avesta  about 
the  Achaemenian  kings,  and  the  substitution  of  other 
great  dynasties,  Peshdadian  and  Kayanian,  which  are 
unknown  to  history.  Can  we  meet  this  by  urging 
(1)  that  the  Avestan  country  is  far  away  from  those 
which  enter  the  range  of  external  history,  and  (2) 
that  if  (for  instance)  Acheemenian  kings  were  praised 
in  the  Farvardin  Yasht,  there  was  no  guarantee  that 
the  philhellene  Arsacides  would  encourage  the  sur 
vival  of  those  sections  ?  The  harmless  prehistoric 
monarchs  had  the  best  chance  of  this  immortality. 

After  much  hesitation,  therefore,  and  I  frankly 
confess  not  a  few  pendulum  swings  from  one  side  to 
the  other,  [  give  my  vote  Aye  when  the  question  is 
put  whether  Zarathushtra  comes  into  Darius's  spiritual 
ancestry.  I  have  given  away,  in  deference  to  Hommel's 
inscription,  the  one  evidence  that  would  be  absolutely 
decisive — Zarathushtra's  authorship  of  the  cult  title 
Mazddh.  But  though  the  other  arguments  could  be 
countered  severally  with  good  replies,  I  think  the 
balance  turns  in  favour  of  the  affirmative,  and  I  accept 
it  with  the  modifications  already  given. 

Finally,  we  have  to  ask  what  were  the  religious 
beliefs  of  Xerxes.  The  inquiry  may  be  suspended 
here,  since  we  have  nothing  whatever  to  discuss  in 
the  history  of  Artaxerxes  Longimanus  or  Darius  II., 
except  the  popular  religion  as  observed  by  Herodotus 
in  his  travels  during  this  period.  Xerxes  is  almost 


as  grievous  a  stumbling-block  to  defenders  of  the 
hereditary  principle  in  absolute  monarchy  as  Cambyses 
himself,  and  he  lacks  the  excuse  of  insanity.  Religion 
meant  much  less  to  him  than  to  his  great  father,  and 
we  should  naturally  expect  to  find  in  his  ideas  an 
eclipse  of  the  ethical  theology  of  the  Gathas  and 
Darius,  and  a  recrudescence  of  the  popular  Aryan 
superstitions.  Herodotus  (vii.  114)  has  a  very  in 
structive  story,  which  (pace  Dr  Gray)  1  find  entirely 
credible.  Coming  to  a  place  called  Nine  Ways,  the 
Magi  buried  alive  nine  boys  and  girls  of  the  place. 
(The  Magi  at  least  are  the  subject  of  the  preceding 
sentence,  and  it  seems  most  natural  to  understand 
Herodotus  to  implicate  them  here — of  course  wrongly 
—as  the  agents  of  the  king's  superstition.)  The 
historian  goes  on  to  observe — 

"  To  bury  alive  is  a  Persian  custom,  for  I  learn  that  Amestris, 
the  wife  of  Xerxes,  when  she  grew  old,  buried  fourteen  children 
of  distinguished  Persians,  endeavouring  to  propitiate  on  her  own 
account  the  god  who  is  said  to  dwell  beneath  the  earth." l 

There  are  many  other  evidences  that  the  Magi  had 
not  yet  begun  to  push  their  propaganda  against  burial, 
and  the  idea  that  the  Earth-spirit  would  be  offended 
never  entered,  it  is  plain,  minds  wholly  impervious 
to  more  important  considerations.  There  are  two  or 
three  instructive  (and  very  horrible)  pages  in  Prof. 
Jackson's  Persia  Past  and  Present  (pp.  271-3),  deal 
ing  with  the  barbarous  punishments  still  inflicted  in 
Persia.  One  of  these,  the  plastering  up  of  the  victim 
in  gypsum,  writh  face  exposed,  and  leaving  him  to  die 
as  a  pillar  by  the  roadside,  is  in  principle  not  unlike 

1  The  significance  of  this  extremely  interesting  appellation  will 
be  considered  in  Lecture  IV.  (p.  128  f.). 


what  Herodotus  describes  as  Hepa-ntov  long  ago.  And, 
as  Prof.  Jackson's  informant  observed  in  reporting 
another  horror,  Iran  hamin  ast,  "  Persia  is  always  the 
same  " !  Perhaps  the  well-known  humanity  of  Russian 
manners  will  effect  the  needed  change  in  the  un 
willing  pupil ! 

Two  other  hints  are  extracted  by  Dr  Gray  from 
the  seventh  book  of  Herodotus.  Xerxes  on  arriving 
at  the  Hellespont  sacrificed  1000  cows  (/3o£?  ^tX/a?),  TJ? 
'A6V«»7  T>?  'IXta^i,  while  the  Magi  poured  libations  to  the 
heroes  :  it  is  added  that  a  panic  fell  on  the  host  because 
these  things  had  been  done  at  night.1  Dr  Gray  re 
stricts  his  citation  to  the  point  about  the  "  1000  oxen 
[M'C],"  and  the  correspondence  with  Yt  521  (etc.),  where 
the  sacrifice  to  Anahita  is  100  male  horses,  1000  oxen 
(or  cows),  and  10,000  sheep.  The  suggestion  that  this 
is  an  early  notice  of  the  Anahita  cult  is  very  interest 
ing,  but  the  concomitants  are  unexplained,  and  we 
cannot  be  sure  that  the  notice,  like  the  regular  appear 
ance  of  the  Magi,  is  not  an  anachronism  transferred 
from  a  later  time.  Still,  there  is  no  serious  difficulty 
in  believing  that  the  cult  had  already  begun  to  make 
its  way.2  It  is  further  stated  that  Xerxes  poured  a 
libation  into  the  sea  and  prayed  to  the  rising  sun 
(vii.  54).  I  see  no  necessity  to  bring  in  Mithra  here, 
as  Dr  Gray  does :  the  Sun  was  a  yazata  on  his  own 

1  This  was  a  rather  definite  lapse  into -the  dacvayasna  :    see  the 
note  below  (p.  129)  on  nocturnal  sacrificing  of  cattle  as  condemned 
in  the  Gathas.     If  the  notice  of  Herodotus  (vii.  43)  is  sound,  we 
must  suppose  that  the  spirit  of  the  Reform  had  in  this  respect  pene 
trated  the  soldiery.     But  I  should  hardly  care  to  trust  the  detail : 
it  is  enough  to  assume  that  Herodotus  had  heard  of  the  existence 
of  orthodox  objections  to  sacrifices  by  night. 

2  See  on  this  subject,  p.  238  f. 


account  from  of  old.  The  libation  probably  agrees 
only  by  accident  with  Magian  doctrine  (p.  216  below). 
It  was  hardly  Persian,  for  Aryan  worship  only  con 
cerned  the  waters  that  nurtured  plant  life.  But  the 
sea  had  given  Xerxes  trouble  before,  and  propitia 
tion  would  be  politic  now,  even  if  it  belonged  to 
the  Daevas.  Dr  Gray  finally  cites  vii.  40,  where  the 
chariot  of  Xerxes  follows  "the  sacred  chariot  of 
Zeus,"  drawn  by  eight  white  horses,  whose  driver 
went  on  foot,  "  for  no  man  ascends  this  throne."  I 
am  myself  inclined  to  recognise  here,  not  Mazdah,  to 
whom  the  symbolism  is  not  specially  appropriate,  but 
the  popular  Sky-god  to  whom  we  shall  be  turning  our 
attention  presently.  The  general  impression  made 
by  these  notices  is  that  if  the  religion  of  Darius 
suggests  the  Gathas  of  Zarathushtra,  that  of  his  son 
has  its  affinities  in  the  "  Seven-chapter  Gatha  "  which 
marked  the  relapse  into  the  old  nature-worship. 
Everything  we  know  of  Xerxes  makes  us  feel  that 
it  would  suit  him  better. 

Let  us  turn  now  to  the  popular  religion  of  Persia, 
as  described  for  us  with  convincing  and  detailed 
accuracy  by  Herodotus.  The  locus  dassicus  is  trans 
lated  and  annotated  in  the  appendices,  and  I  need 
only  call  attention  to  a  few  outstanding  features. 
First  let  me  call  attention  to  its  omissions.  Without 
over-pressing  the  argumcntum  ex  silentio,  we  can 
assert  positively  enough  that  Herodotus  never  met 
with  the  name  of  Angra  Mainyu,  nor  heard  of  the 
Prophet  Zarathushtra.  I  have  been  explaining  away 
Darius's  silence  about  the  Prophet,  and  noting  that 
the  absence  of  Angra  does  not  need  to  be  explained. 
But  it  really  passes  all  probability  that  a  writer  like 


Herodotus  should  omit  so  interesting  a  figure  as 
Zoroaster's  if  he  ever  heard  of  it.  I  think  his  silence 
must  at  least  mean  that  his  knowledge  came  from  strata 
wholly  untouched  by  Zarathushtra's  teaching.  So 
abstract  and  esoteric  a  doctrine  was  never  likely  to 
win  popularity  ;  and  if  it  was  really  known  to  Darius, 
the  extent  to  which  it  spread  beyond  the  royal  circle 
must  have  been  limited  to  a  very  few  of  its  easiest 
conceptions.  It  was  the  Magi  who  popularised  it  by 
refraction,  as  we  shall  see.  Ahura  Mazdah  himself 
is  described  on  the  Susian  version  of  the  Behistan 
Inscription  as  "  god  of  the  Aryans,"  and  this  probably 
gives  us  the  estimate  of  the  people  in  general.  The 
"Aryans"  in  this  context  may  well  be  simply  the 
nobles,  who  had  taken  up  the  new  cult,  while  the 
mass  of  their  kin  of  lower  rank  continued  to  worship 
the  old  elemental  daivas,  with  the  Sky-god  at  their 
head.  It  will  be  remembered  that  the  'ApifyvToi  were 
only  one  of  the  six  tribes  of  the  Medes  in  Hdt.  i.  101 : 
there  may  have  been  other  Aryans  among  these 
Median  tribes,  and  the  Persian  ariyazantava  would 
not  be  identical  with  the  Median  in  their  beliefs,  if 
a  new  religion  had  made  its  way  into  Persia  first. 

In  the  description  which  the  historian  gives  of  the 
Persian  religion  the  central  feature  is  the  worship  of 
the  KVK\O?  ovpavov  upon  mountain-tops.  I  have  tried 
to  prove  in  my  note  on  the  passage  (p.  391-3)  that 
"  Zeus  "  here  is  not  the  Greek  divine  name  transferred 
to  the  chief  deity  of  another  country — as  we  have 
Zeus  Oromazdes  in  Commagene  and  Zeus  Ammon 
in  Egypt, — but  the  old  South  Indo-European  deity  of 
the  Sky,  the  Indian  Dyauh,  whose  name  in  Old  Persian, 
especially  in  the  accusative,  genitive,  and  locative  cases, 


would  sound  to  a  Greek  very  much  like  the  name  of 
his  own  Zeus.  It  is  more  than  doubtful  whether  an 
elemental  character  can  be  assigned  to  Ahura  Mazdah, 
even  in  the  pre- Reformation  age.  It  is  true  that 
Prof.  Cumont  claims  for  him  in  the  Avesta  itself 
"traces  of  his  original  character  ...  as  the  god 
of  the  bright  sky." 1  But  against  this  we  may  set 
Dr  Hans  Reichelt's  comment2  on  Yt  133:  "Ahura 
Mazdah  is  the  Varuna  of  Aryan  times,  the  god  of 
the  night-heaven."  And  for  this  it  may  be  pleaded 
that  in  the  Later  Avesta  the  old  Aryan  pair  survives 
as  MiBra  Ahura,3  a  dvandva  compound  like  the  Vedic 
Mitra(u]  Varund(u} :  unless,  then,  we  assert  inde 
pendent  origin,  we  must  make  Ahura  =  Varuna,  as 
the  Asura  /car'  e^o^v.  So  scholars  have  largely  agreed 
to  read  it :  Geldner's  words  may  be  cited  as  typical — 

In  one  Asura,  whose  Aryan  original  was  Varuna, 
[Zarathushtra]  concentrated  the  whole  of  the  divine 
character,  and  conferred  upon  it  the  epithet  of  the 


(But  we  cannot  still  hold  the  doctrine  that  the 
Reformer  invented  the  name  Mazdah.)  If  this  is 
right,  Ahura  would  necessarily  be  the  night  sky,  if 
a  Sky-god  at  all,  for  Mithra's  prior  claim  on  the  light 
is  certain.  But  really  the  evidence  for  Ahura's  ele 
mental  character  is  exceedingly  weak  at  best,  unless 
we  are  prepared  to  assert  the  same  whenever  a  deity 
is  said  to  be  robed  with  stars  or  clothed  with  light. 

1  In  Roscher,  Lex.  Myth.,  iii.  1052.     I  owe  the  reference  to  my 
friend  Mr  A.  B.  Cook. 

2  "The   sky    which    Mazdah    wears    as    a    star-spangled   robe" 
(Avesta  Reader,  115:  cf.  110).     See  p.  280  below. 

3  Ys  l",  Yt  10113' 145. 

4  Enc.  Brit.11,  sub  voce. 


It  must  be  admitted,  however,  that  the  old  Sky-god 
of  the  Aryans  has  left  his  traces  in  Iran  abundantly 
enough,  if  only  in  deities  who  have  stolen  their 
thunder  from  its  rightful  lord.  Here  Mithra  is 
emphatically  the  most  conspicuous.  I  shall  return 
immediately  to  his  past,  and  deal  with  his  ultimate 
future  in  Lecture  IV. ;  but  I  must  first  note  this 
connexion  with  the  sky,  which,  however  explained, 
is  unmistakable  in  the  Yashts  and  kindred  texts.  In 
this  regard,  since  too  many  scholars  have  been  in 
a  hurry  to  antedate  the  ultimate  identification  of 
Mithra  with  the  Sun,  I  should  emphasise  the  fact, 
properly  insisted  on  by  Tiele,1  that  he  belongs  to  the 
night  as  well  as  the  day.  Tiele  notes  that  in  the 
Yashts  he  is  "  unsleeping,"  as  in  the  Rigveda,  and 
has  myriad  eyes.  Since,  however, 

The  Night  has  a  thousand  eyes, 

And  the  Day  but  one  ; 
Yet  the  light  of  the  bright  world  dies 

With  the  dying  Sun, 

the  divinity  of  the  bright  sky  is  very  naturally  linked 
more  and  more  with  the  greater  light.2  How  the 
transition  was  made  from  Light  to  Sun  is  explained 

1  Religions gesch.,  242  f. 

2  In  proof  of  this  important   claim,  Tiele  refers  to   Yt  1095  ff., 
where  after  sunset  Mithra  goes  foi'th  with  his  club,  touching  both 
ends  of  the  earth  and  surveying  everything  between  earth  and  sky 
— this  last  a  touch  in  keeping  with  his  character  as  /xecriV^s,  lord 
of  the  middle  region.     Darmesteter  (SEE,  xxiii.  143)  assumes  that 
Mithra  as  the  Sun  has  to  retrace  his  steps  during  the  night,  quoting 
a   Hindu  belief  that  the  Sun  had  a  bright  face  and  a  dark  one, 
turning  the  latter  to  the  earth  on  its  nightly  journey  back  to  the 
east.     But  this  would   not  suit  the   idea  of  his  watchful  survey : 
the  sky  as  illuminated   by  moon  and  stars  gives   us  a  preferable 


by  no  less  an  authority  than  Prof.  Cumont,  whose  pro 
prietary  rights  in  Mithraism  everyone  acknowledges. 
In  his  fascinating  lectures  on  Oriental  Religions  in 
Ro?nan  Paganism,1  he  tells  us  that  the  "  learned 
theology  of  the  Chaldseans  imposed  itself  on  primitive 
Mazdeism,"  and  that  "  Ahura  Mazda  was  assimilated 
to  Bel,  Anahita  to  Ishtar,  and  Mithra  to  Shamash 
the  god  of  the  Sun.  That  is  why  in  the  Roman 
Mysteries  Mithra  was  commonly  called  Sol  invictus, 
though  he  was  really  distinct  from  the  Sun." 

When,  however,  the  most  has  been  made  of  the 
elemental  features  of  Mithra,  we  are  brought  back  to 
the  ethical  side  as  distinctly  more  conspicuous  in 
Parsism,  recalling  the  same  dual  character  in  the 
Roman  Jupiter  as  Dius  Fidius.2  Prof.  A.  Meillet 
has  even  put  in  an  elaborate  plea 3  for  regarding  the 
ethical  as  Mithra's  original  function  in  the  Aryan 
period.  Both  the  branches  of  Aryan  possess  a 
common  noun,  mitrd-miQra-,  meaning  in  Sanskrit 
"friendship"  (neut.)  or  "friend"  (masc.),  and  in 
Avestan  "compact."  They  even  coincide  in  possess 
ing  a  compound,  Skt.  mitradruh,  "  injuring  a  friend, 
treacherous,"  Av.  miBro-druj,  "  breaking  a  compact " 
(also  "trying  to  deceive  Mithra").  Meillet  regards 
this  word  as  the  original,  and  the  Aryan  divine  name 
as  derived  from  it.  There  are,  he  says,  no  elemental 
traits  in  the  one  Vedic  hymn  (Rv.  iii.  59)  addressed  to 
Mitra.  The  transference  of  this  ethical  deity  to  the 
elemental  sphere  is  due  to  the  natural  thought  that 

1  Les  Religions  Orientates  dans  le  Paganisme  Romain,2  p.  217. 

2  On   this   compare   Warde   Fowler,   Religious   Experience  of  the 
Roman  People,  130  and  142. 

3  Journal  Asiatique,  1897,  ii.  143  ff. 


Light  is  the  guardian  of  good  faith :  lying  and 
treachery  always  love  the  darkness.  The  very 
ancient  Roman  deity  Fides  will  be  on  the  same  plane  ; 
and  as  the  Roman  abstract  deities  have  a  strong  claim 
to  be  regarded  as  uralt,  we  might  urge  this  feature  of 
that  very  conservative  religion  as  a  point  in  Meillet's 
favour,  when  joined  with  the  similar  mixing  of  ethical 
and  elemental  ideas  in  Dius  Fidius.  Dr  Fowler's 
quotation  from  Varro  ("quidam  negant  sub  tecto 
hunc  deiurare  oportere")  is  very  suggestive  in  this 
connexion.  Prof.  Meillet  recognises  that  Mithra's 
twin,  the  Indian  Varuna,  must  be  treated  on  similar 
lines  if  his  theory  is  to  have  a  chance.  Now,  of 
course,  Varuna  has  the  most  strongly  ethical  functions 
of  all  the  gods  in  the  Indian  pantheon  ;  and  the 
difficulty  of  making  him  distinctively  elemental  is 
well  illustrated  by  the  differences  of  the  pandits  in 
rinding  his  proper  sphere.  I  wonder  whether  he 
would  ever  have  been  so  generally  assumed  to  be  the 
Sky  if  it  had  not  been  for  the  supposed  necessity 
of  identifying  his  name  with  the  Greek  Ovpavw ! 
Meillet  boldly  proposes  a  connexion  with  Skt  vrata, 
"ordinance,"  Av.  urvata,  urvaiti,  "contract,"  urvaQa, 
"friend."  The  coincidence  is  very  striking,  and  I  am 
more  than  half  convinced.  My  only  hesitation  concerns 
Meillet's  insistence  that  the  elemental  deity  is  evolved 
out  of  the  ethical  one.  Is  it  not  just  as  probable  that 
there  has  been  a  fusion  of  two  originally  independent 
conceptions,  just  as  the  two  figures  of  luppiter  and 
Fides  met  in  Dius  Fidius  ?  I  am  encouraged  in  this 
suspicion  by  the  silence  of  Prof.  Brugmann,  whose 
almost  papal  authority  we  all  acknowledge  in  the 
sphere  of  comparative  philology.  He  has  a  careful 



account  of  the  origin  of  the  common  noun  mitrd- 
miOra-,1  but  does  not  seem  to  deal  anywhere  with  the 
name  of  the  god,  which,  I  infer,  he  regards  as  a  distinct 
word.  Now  the  two  strains  in  the  history  of  Mithra 
in  Iran  are  remarkably  distinct,  and  I  am  disposed  to 
think  that  in  attempting  to  unite  them,  whether  on 
Meillet's  lines  or  on  those  of  the  orthodox,  we  are 
sacrificing  a  valuable  aid  towards  the  solution  of  one 
of  our  most  difficult  problems.  The  possibility  of 
foreign  influence  in  the  building  up  of  what  we  call 
Mithraism  is  admitted  for  the  later  stages.  Ought 
we  to  antedate  it  by  several  centuries,  and  suggest 
that  as  a  god  of  the  firmament,  necrirw  in  a  physical 
sense  between  heaven  and  earth,  Mithra  is  essentially 
Semitic  ?  I  was  almost  inclined  to  withdraw  or  to 
pass  by  in  silence  what  I  feared  was  a  too  venture 
some  suggestion2  that  the  remarkably  similar  Assyrian 

1  Grundriss*,  n.  i.  346.     The  etymological  material,  skilfully  mar 
shalled  by  Meillet,  may  be  conveniently  seen  in  Walde,  Lat.  etym. 
Worterbuch? ,  488  f.     Etymology  at  any  rate  makes  it  certain  that  the 
Aryan  common  noun  is  primitive  in  form  and  meaning.     The  root  mei 
("  austauschen,  verkehren  " — Brugmann)  is  attested  by  Skt  mdyate, 
"barter";  Lat.  com-munis;  Gothic  ga-mains  (Ger.  gemein),  and  many 
other  words  :  Brugmann  makes  the  Aryan  noun  originally  "  freund- 
licher  Verkehr."     Meillet  would  like  to  recognise  the  interrelation  of 
a  second  root,  shown  best  in  Lithuanian:  we  need  not  follow  this  up. 

2  ERPP,  37.     The  Assyrian  word  was  supplied  to  me    by  one 
whom  I  must  now  (alas !)  call  my  late  colleague,   Prof.   Hope  W. 
Hogg.     Note  that  in  an  Assyrian  inscription  from  the  library  of 
Assurbanipal,  quoted  in  Zimmern,  KAT3,  486,  the  name  of  Mithra 
is  spelt  Mi-it-ra.     This  proves  the  name  current  in  Assyria  from  at 
least  the  seventh  century.      It  involves,  however,  the  sharp  differ 
entiation  between  the  divine  name  and  the  Assyrian  for  "  rain  "  in 
one  particular,  the  t  being  of  different  quality  (Hebrew  f|  and  J^ 
respectively).     Of  course  the  name  of  Mithra  would  naturally  be 
reimported  in  an  altered  form  from  a  foreign  language. 



metru,  "  rain,"  was  somehow  concerned.  But  the 
reading  of  Meillet's  paper  has  started  me  on  a  fresh 
clue,  and  I  pursue  my  former  line  a  little  beyond  the 
point  to  which  I  took  it.  Does  not  the  existence  of 
this  Assyrian  word  for  "  rain  "  fit  in  singularly  well 
with  the  curious  partnership  between  Mithra  and 
Anahita  which  appears  at  the  very  beginning  of  the 
worship  of  this  goddess  in  Iranian  lands?  Our  earliest 
notice  of  her  (Herodotus,  i.  131)  expressly  asserts 
her  Semitic  origin,  which  is  supported  on  evidence 
drawn  from  many  quarters  :  see  pp.  288.  394.  I  have 
commented  on  the  instructive  mistake  of  Herodotus, 
who  describes  the  cult  of  Anahita  under  the  name 
Mirpa.  Now  if  one  member  of  this  inseparable 
pair  represented  the  waters  above,  and  the  other 
the  rivers  and  springs  below,  we  have  an  obvious 
reason  for  the  association.  We  really  ought  to  have 
some  reason  supplied  by  those  who  suggest  that 
an  Aryan  Light-god  was  selected  for  adaptation  as 
partner  for  a  water-sprite  in  process  of  being  fused 
with  the  West  Asiatic  Mother-goddess.  On  my 
theory  we  postulate  Rain  and  River  as  a  divine  pair 
associated  in  some  Semitic  district.  The  former 
would  easily  develop  a  connexion  with  the  firmament: 
compare  Genesis  (I6),  where  we  read  of  the  solid 
canopy  through  which,  when  the  sluices  were  opened, 
the  rain  came  down.  At  this  point  we  may  conceive 
contact  between  Semitic  and  Aryan,  with  the  almost 
identical  names  to  prompt  a  new  idea — that  the  sky 
is  the  all-seeing  witness  which  guarantees  good  faith 
in  contracts  of  man  with  man.  In  the  purely  Iranian 
religion  this  never  passed  beyond  an  attribute  applied 
to  the  ethical  deity  Mithra.  By  "  purely  Iranian  "  I 


mean  here  that  strain  of  Avestan  religion  which  was 
independent  of  Zarathushtra,  and  probably  developed 
in  a  country  into  which  his  Reform  did  not  penetrate. 
The  Tenth  Yasht  is  addressed  to  a  Mithra  whom 
Zarathushtra  might  not  have  disdained  to  acknow 
ledge.  But,  as  we  shall  see,  in  his  own  country  he 
seems  to  have  been  in  contact  with  a  Mithra  cult 
that  he  could  not  countenance  in  any  way.  That 
was,  if  I  am  divining  rightly,  an  elemental  worship 
essentially  akin  to  that  which  by  further  syncretism 
issued  at  last  in  the  great  system  of  Mithraism,  a 
religion  so  totally  distinct  from  that  of  the  Avesta 
that  we  shall  naturally  leave  it  on  one  side  except 
where  it  supplies  a  few  scattered  hints  for  our 
purpose.  It  is  perhaps  significant  that  Zarathushtra 
can  use  the  common  noun  miQra  with  a  religious 
meaning :  "  his  vow  and  his  ties  of  faith  "  ( Ys  465) 
actually  adds  the  very  word  (urvaiti)  with  which 
Meillet  identifies  the  root  of  Varuna.  This  is  in 
welcome  accord  with  the  supposition  that  in  the 
Gathic  period  miOra  and  MiOra  were  still  consciously 
distinct  words. 

It  is  time  to  pass  on,  and  we  have  still  some  points 
of  special  interest  to  bring  out  from  the  great  passage 
in  Herodotus.  His  statement  that  the  Persians  used 
neither  images  nor  shrines  nor  altars  is  supported 
by  good  evidence  from  various  quarters.  Genuine 
Parsism  was,  indeed,  without  images  to  the  last. 
Porphyry *  was  true  to  the  spirit  of  earlier  Mazdeism 
and  Iranian  nature- worship,  as  well  as  the  syncretic 
Parsism  of  his  day,  in  his  statement  that  "  the  body 
of  Oromazdes  is  like  light  and  his  soul  like  truth." 

1  Quoted,  p.  391  below. 


When  Clement  of  Alexandria  would  convict  the 
Persians  of  idolatry,  he  quotes  Deinon1  for  the 
statement  that  they  "  sacrificed  in  the  open  air, 
accounting  fire  and  water  the  only  images  of  gods." 
It  was  only  after  many  courses  of  years  that 
Artaxerxes  II.  taught  them  to  worship  the  image 
of  Anahita.  There  were  earlier  apparent  exceptions 
to  the  rule,  in  the  figures  of  Ahura  Mazdah  sculptured 
on  the  Behistan  Rock  and  elsewhere,  but  the  Parsis 
have  claimed  that  these  represent  only  the  Fravashi. 
The  winged  solar  disk,  an  importation  from  Egypt, 
is  a  further  exception  ;  and  at  a  later  period  we  have 
the  highly  syncretic  cultus  of  Cappadocia,  as  de 
scribed  by  Strabo,2  in  which  images  of  "Omanus" 
were  carried  in  procession.  Geldner  has  acutely 
compared  Vd  1920"25,  where  a  similar  use  of  an 
image  is  very  strongly  suggested  for  Vohumanah, 
who  is  usually  identified  with  Strabo's  Omanus.  But, 
after  all,  these  deviations  are  on  much  the  same 
footing  as  the  Bethel  Calf  when  set  against  the 
Second  Commandment :  the  general  spirit  of  the 
religion  is  unmistakable.3  For  a  surface  inconsistency 
as  to  shrines  between  Herodotus  and  Behistan,  I 
may  refer  to  my  note  below,  p.  391. 

Altars,  such  as  Greeks  would  recognise,  were 
certainly  absent.  The  sacrifice  is  very  primitive  in 
its  character,  consisting  of  flesh  laid  on  a  carpet  of 
tender  grass,  to  which  the  deity  is  invited  to  come 
down,  the  messenger  being  the  sacred  Fire.  This 

1  Protrept.,  v.  §  65.    For  Deinon  see  the  locus  in  Diogenes  Laertius, 
and  note  thereon,  below,  p.  415. 

2  See  the  passage  below,  p.  409,  and  further  notes  on  p.  101  f. 

3  See  further,  p.  96,  and  Soderblom,  Fravashis,  68. 


has  a  close  link  with  the  Veda,  where  the  grass 
carpet  has  a  name  which  in  the  ritual  of  the  Avesta 
has  been  modified  to  suit  a  Magian  cult  instrument, 
as  we  shall  see  later  (p.  190). 

Many  features  of  popular  Persian  religion  1  may 
leave  to  Herodotus  as  reproduced  below,  with  com 
ments  linking  his  record  with  our  other  information. 
It  remains  to  make  a  few  general  remarks  on  its 
character,  and  add  some  notes  on  features  which 
do  not  come  out  conspicuously  in  his  account. 
The  comparison  of  native  Iranian  religion  with  the 
earlier  forms,  depicted  with  masterly  analysis  by 
Prof.  Otto  Schrader  in  his  monograph  on  Indo- 
European  Religion,1  shows  how  much  of  the  primeval 
inheritance  the  Iranians  retained — much  more,  it 
would  seem,  than  the  Indo-Aryans.  I  have  just 
discussed  the  chief  example  of  the  SondergGtter,  or 
"special  gods,"  whom  Schrader  regards  as  con 
spicuous  in  the  primitive  religion.  Mithra,  as  god 
of  Contracts,  is  by  no  means  the  only  survival  of 
this  very  ancient  type.  There  is  the  genius  of 
Victory,  whom  the  Greeks  as  well  as  the  Romans 
adored.  Prof.  Bartholomae  renders  vrtrahan-vard 
Trajan  "  assault-repelling,  victorious,"  which  implies 
that  the  Indian  demon  Vrtra  was  a  creature  of 
imaginative  etymology,  belonging  to  a  period  when 
the  true  meaning  of  vrtra  was  lost.  The  Later 
Avestan  Verethraghna  was  simply  the  old  Sondergott 
of  war.  It  would  perhaps  be  right  to  bring  into 
this  class  the  great  Avestan  Fire-spirit,  who  shares 
with  the  Earth  (Aramaiti]  the  privilege  of  keeping 
under  Zarathushtra  the  prominence  he  enjoyed  in 

1  "Aryan  Religion"  in  ERE,  ii.  11-57. 


the  unreformed  Iranian  religion.  It  would  have 
been  natural  to  include  Fire  with  the  Nature  gods, 
as  we  certainly  should  do  with  the  Indian  Agni. 
But,  as  Prof.  E.  Lehmann  points  out,1  the  Indian 
tribes  radically  modified  their  inheritance  in  this 
matter  when  they  migrated  into  a  sub  -  tropical 
climate.  Fire  became  for  them  the  consumer  of 
the  sacrifice,  which  he  bore  up  to  the  "  heavenly 
ones " ;  and  with  a  new  function  he  received  a  new 
name,  Agni,  cognate  with  the  Romans'  ignis  and  the 
Lithuanian  ugnis  szwenta,  "  holy  fire."  But  in  Aryan 
days,  as  in  Herodotus  (i.  132)  and  the  Avesta,  the 
sacrifice  was  not  burnt  at  all,  but  the  gods  were 
invited  to  come  down  and  partake  on  the  spot. 
The  sacred  fire  was  called  Atar,  the  house  fire, 
with  which  name  we  compare  the  Latin  atrium, 
the  room  that  contained  the  hearth.  Northern 
tribes  continued  to  regard  this  institution  as  under 
the  patronage  of  a  specially  important  Sonder- 
gott :  'Eo-r/a  and  Vesta  are  obvious  witnesses,  and 
Atar  is  of  their  company.  With  the  migra 
tion  southwards  the  hearth  fire  necessarily  disap 
peared.  It  is  suggestive  to  compare  the  change  of 
the  old  word  tepos,  which  connoted  grateful  warmth 
in  Italy,  and  perhaps  gave  the  Scyths  in  their 
inhospitable  country  a  goddess  Tahiti.2  In  India 
tapas  is  "  penance " !  Lehmann  shows  how  Atar 
was  the  great  purifier  who  illuminated  the  night, 
kept  off  bitter  cold  and  wild  beasts,  and  destroyed 
noxious  and  devilish  powers  generally.  The  myth 
of  Atar's  victory  over  the  serpent  Azi  Dahdka  is 

1  In  Saussaye's  Handbuch,  p.  183. 

2  But  see  Hirt,  Die  Indogermanen,  ii.  587. 


characteristically  Iranian,  and  goes  back  to  the  old 
nomadic  life  when  the  tribes  were  ranging  over 
the  steppes.  But  indeed  it  goes  back  further  still, 
if  we  may  compare  with  Lehmann  such  Germanic 
myths  as  Loki's  binding  by  Thor.  With  the  Sonder- 
gotter  we  may  also  set  two  other  very  different 
conceptions,  or  sets  of  conceptions.  On  the  one 
side  is  Soma-Haoma,  the  drink  of  immortality,  sug 
gested  to  us  at  this  point  by  the  remarkable  omission 
of  Herodotus,  who  says  that  the  Persians  used  "  no 
libation  "  at  their  sacrifice.  Against  this  negative  we 
have  the  strongest  evidence  that  the  Sondergott  of 
the  sacred  intoxicant  exercised  his  power  in  Aryan 
days.  Tiele1  would  solve  the  problem  by  making 
the  cultus  late,  arising  first  in  a  district  lying  between 
India  and  Iran,  and  spreading  N.W.  and  S.E.  The 
theory  breaks  down  on  conclusive  evidence  that 
Haoma  was  known  and  banned  by  Zarathushtra 
himself.  In  Vedic  India  Soma  was,  like  the  Avestan 
Haoma  duraosa  ("  Averter  of  death  "),  a  drink  of  im 
mortality,  and  was  closely  connected  with  the  moon. 
The  crescent  in  the  tropical  evening  descends  the  sky 
with  the  horns  pointing  up  to  the  zenith,  suggesting 
to  primitive  fancy  a  cup  that  was  being  filled  by 
the  gods  of  the  firmament  with  a  draught  of  silver 
hue,  to  be  quaffed  at  the  banquet  when  the  day 
was  done.  Soma  was  prepared  by  crushing  the 
stalk  of  a  plant,  not  yet  identified,  which,  when 
fermented,  produced  a  drink  strongly  alcoholic  in 
character.  This  feature  survives  in  the  Gathas,  for 
Zarathushtra  sternly  ignores  the  name  of  the  divine 
drink,  and  makes  unmistakable  allusions  to  the  evil 

1  Religionsgesch.,  ii.  234. 


results  of  such  a  cult.  Orgiastic  nocturnal  sacri 
fices,1  held  perhaps  in  honour  of  Mithra,  Slayer  of 
the  Bull,  and  under  the  inspiration  of  Haoma, 
were  among  the  grievances  of  quiet  Mazdayasnian 
agriculturists  against  the  Daevayasnian  nomads. 
"  When  wilt  thou  smite  the  pollution  of  this  in 
toxicant  ? "  says  the  Prophet  ( Ys  4810) ;  and  though 
the  Magian  guardians  of  his  hymns  took  care  that 
Haoma  should  not  be  named,  we  can  hardly  doubt 
that  he  was  meant.  Indeed,  there  is  one  place  (Ys 
3214)  where  his  standing  epithet  duraosa  gives  us 
an  unambiguous  reference :  the  enemies  of  the 
Religion  promote  a  slaying  of  cattle  "  that  it  may 
kindle  the  Averter  of  Death  to  help  us."! 

A  similar  connexion  between  Haoma  and  the 
syncretic  figure  of  Mithra,  the  Slayer  of  the  Bull, 
might  be  recognised  in  the  notice  preserved  by 
Ctesias,3  that  the  Persian  king  used  to  get  drunk 
on  the  one  day  of  the  year  when  they  sacrificed  to 
Mithra.  In  the  period  of  the  Yashts,  which  seems 
to  have  been  the  age  of  the  kings,  Haoma  reappears 
in  all  his  glory.  The  most  elaborate  and  best  pre 
served  of  all  the  hymns  is  dedicated  to  him,  the  only 
one  which  still  retains  its  verse  character  through 
out.  But  we  gather  that  the  Iranian  Bacchus  has 
in  the  interval  signed  the  pledge.  There  is  no  sug- 

1  It  is  possible  that  these  orgies  included  other  elements.     Dr 
Tisdall  suggests  (Mythic  Christs  and  the  True,  p.  12)  that  the  con 
fusion  in  Herodotus  between   Mithra  and  Anahita  may  point  to 
ritual  immorality  in  Mithra-worship,  resembling  what  the  historian 
knew  of  in  the  cult  of  Ishtar. 

2  Hence  Vohumanah  significantly  supplants   Mithra  as   lord  of 

3  And  Douris  :  see  Cumont,  Textes,  ii.  10. 


gestion  of  alcohol,  and  Haoma  is  a  magical,  mystical 
drink  which  to  all  appearance  is  harmless  enough, 
whether  it  bestowed  immortality  or  no.  I  am 
inclined  to  suggest  that  the  plant  used  for  this 
purpose  failed  the  people  as  they  migrated  west 
ward  out  of  the  land  where  Zarathushtra  preached 
and  taught  his  Gathas.  Later  substitutes  lacked 
the  very  element  that  made  Haoma  hateful  to  the 
Prophet  and  attractive  to  the  reveller.  And  in 
another  part  of  Iran  the  failure  of  the  original 
plant  might  well  cause  the  disappearance  of  the 
whole  ritual,  and  make  the  Persian  sacrifice  lose 
the  "libation"  which  in  Aryan  times  was  its  necessary 
accompaniment.  The  fact  that  Xerxes  poured  a 
libation  into  the  sea,  as  noted  above,  may  be  re 
membered  as  showing  that  Herodotus  is  not  quite 
consistent.  And  there  are  one  or  two  theophoric 
names,  with  Hauma  as  first  element,  which  we 
must  not  overlook.  Haumad&ta  occurs  as  a  Persian 
name  in  the  Aramaic  papyri  of  Elephantine,  at  the 
date  459  B.C.1  The  Scythians  of  Haumauarka  (?)  are 
named  on  the  Behistan  Rock,  but  of  course  their  prov 
enance  removes  them  from  Persian  surroundings. 

Last  in  this  class  of  deities  we  may  note  those 
which  were  destined  to  be  adapted  by  Zarathushtra 
for  use  in  his  abstract  system.  The  comparison  with 
Roman  religion,  at  which  we  have  hinted  already, 
prepares  us  to  believe  in  the  primitive  antiquity  of 
shadowy  powers  that  might  well  seem  to  us  too 
advanced  for  an  early  period  in  the  development  of 
thought.  But  it  seems  undeniable  that  Rta-Asa  is 

1  According  to  Prof.  E.  Meyer,  Der  Papyrus  fund  von  Elephantine, 

.  28. 


an  Aryan  conception,  the  principle  of  order,  conceived 
as  under  the  guardianship  of  the  highest  gods.1  Nor 
was  this  the  only  Amshaspand  which  Zarathushtra 
thus  adapted.  The  connexion  of  his  \saQr -a, 
"  Dominion,"  with  metals  may  be  built  on  a  pre 
existing  Sondergott  as  well  as  on  the  idea  of  the 
eschatological  ordeal ;  see  p.  98.  Aramaiti,  the 
Earth,  and  Haurvatat  and  Ameretat,  in  their  con 
nexion  with  Water  and  Plants,  belong  to  the  type 
of  Nature  powers. 

We  come  into  a  different  sphere  when  we  turn 
from  these  abstract  divinities,  presiding  over  special 
provinces  of  human  life,  to  the  *Deivds  of  Indo- 
European  religion,  the  "  Heavenly  Ones,"  who  came 
to  their  most  conspicuous  development  in  the 
Olympians  of  Greek  fancy.  The  great  pair,  Heaven 
and  Earth,  were  presumably  at  their  head,  and  the 
other  Nature  powers  named  in  the  list  of  Herodotus 
are  also  unmistakably  of  Aryan  antiquity.  But  I  need 
not  go  into  any  detail  on  this  subject  here,  for  the 
most  important  points  connected  with  the  Indian 
devds  and  Avestan  dacva  will  claim  very  special 
attention  later  on.  Schrader's  remark  that  the 
"  Heavenly  Ones "  were  less  concerned  with  the 
guardianship  of  morality  than  the  Ancestor-spirits 
—to  whom  we  return  in  Lecture  VIII.2 — will  prepare 

1  Cf.  Macdonell,  Vedic  Mythology,  p.  ii.     Prof.  Oldenberg  would 
credit  Babylon  with  this  conception  :  see  Religion  des  Veda,  195  ff., 
where  he  gives  a  full  account  of  the  Indian  picture  of  Rta.    The  close 
ness  of  Vedic  and  Later  Avestan  is  well  seen  in  the  identity  (noted 
by  Darmesteter)  of  the  Vedic  Khd  rtasya  and  asahe  -^a  (Ys  104). 

2  For  a  specially  important  ancestor-spirit,    Yama-Yima,  who  is 
also  linked  with   the   Heavenly   Ones,  see   the  discussion  of  the 
Iranian  Fall-story,  p.  148  f. 


us  for  the  strange  fate  which  they  met  in  the  Reform 
of  Zarathushtra. 

We  come,  finally,  to  the  climax  of  our  problem  of 
reconstruction  when  we  ask  in  what  period  the  old 
Iranian  religion  and  the  Zarathushtrian  Reform  met 
in  the  Persian  world  as  a  whole,  as  distinguished  from 
the  private  belief  of  a  king  like  Darius  and  his  own 
caste  of  Achasmenian  "Aryans."  The  first  appearance 
of  such  critical  names  as  those  of  Zarathushtra,  the 
Amshaspands,  and  Ahriman  will  be  the  indications 
for  which  we  must  be  looking.  Their  absence,  as 
we  have  seen,  need  not  necessarily  outweigh  other 
evidence  when  a  strong  case  has  been  made.  But  of 
course  their  positive  presence  is  decisive. 

For  chronological  purposes  we  must  depend  upon 
the  inscriptions  and  the  Greek  writers,  the  date  of 
the  Avesta  being  transferred  from  the  category  of 
evidence  into  that  of  the  quod  erat  demonstrandum. 
Herodotus,  therefore,  must  be  the  starting-point  of 
our  inquiry.  I  assume  for  this  purpose  that  he 
really  travelled  in  countries  where  he  could  collect 
first-hand  information  about  both  Persians  and  Magi. 
This  fact  seems  to  me  warranted  by  the  accuracy 
of  his  information,  which  stands  all  the  tests  we 
are  able  to  impose.  I  need  not  say  I  should  not 
claim  infallibility  for  him.  Even  twentieth-century 
travellers  make  mistakes;  and  Herodotus  could  make 
a  curious  blunder  about  the  Persian  language,1  and 
by  his  confusion  of  Mithra  and  Anahita  provide  us 
with  information  such  as  other  writers'  accuracy 
cannot  always  rival.  But  his  knowledge  is  too 
detailed  and  recondite  to  be  obtained  without 

1  See  the  note  below  on  Herod,  i.  139,  p.  398. 


observation.  He  must,  I  think,  therefore  have 
travelled  beyond  Babylon.  I  need  not  venture  more 
precise  definitions,  but  may  note  that  the  late  Prof. 
Strachan1  included  Susa.  The  period  of  these  travels, 
about  the  middle  of  the  fifth  century,  falls  some 
seventy  years  after  the  failure  of  the  Magi  in  their 
bid  for  temporal  power.  The  Magophonia*  still 
kept  the  memory  of  their  failure  alive,  but  they  had 
long  won  compensation.  Herodotus  found  them  in 
undisputed  possession  of  the  priesthood ;  and  we  are 
free  to  infer  that  they  were  already  at  work  upon 
that  fusion  of  the  three  main  elements  in  Avestan 
religion  which  we  shall  find  well  advanced  during  the 
next  century.  But  Herodotus  is  perfectly  aware  of 
the  differences  between  Magian  and  Persian.  The 
priestly  caste  preserved  their  own  separate  identity, 
as  they  were  bound  to  do  if  they  would  retain 
the  reverence  of  their  fellow- Medes.  Indeed,  a 
certain  aloofness  was  effective  even  for  the  achieve 
ment  of  their  first  object,  the  attaining  of  an  exclusive 
hold  upon  the  office  of  zaotar  or  aQrcman  among 
the  Persians.  But  this  is  anticipating  the  special 
subject  of  Lecture  VI.,  and  we  must  return  to  our 

Herodotus  is  silent  as  to  the  crucial  names  'Qpo/uLacrSw, 
'Apeifjuivios,  and  Zwpoda-Tpw.  The  meaning  of  his  silence 
I  have  discussed  elsewhere ;  but  it  clearly  presses  us 
to  look  carefully  for  the  period  when  the  silence  is 
broken.  The  question  is  rather  technical,  and  is  dis 
cussed  accordingly  in  a  special  note  below  (p.  422  f.), 
but  the  results  may  be  collected  here.  We  find  that 

1  The  Sixth  Book  of  Herodotus,  p.  xiii. 

2  Herod,  iii.  79 :  see  p.  186  f. 


when  these  names  begin  to  appear  in  Greek  writers, 
their  form  proves  beyond  doubt  that  they  came  from 
Old  Persian,  and  not  direct  from  the  Gathas  or  the 
Later  Avesta.  There  has  therefore  been  adaptation, 
and  it  proves  to  be  more  considerable  than  has  some 
times  been  assumed.  When  we  ask  for  the  name 
of  the  earliest  Greek  writer  to  report  these  central 
Avestan  titles,  we  find  one  a  whole  century  before 
any  other,  Xanthus  the  Lydian,  a  contemporary  of 
Herodotus,  who  is  credited  with  a  mention  of 
Zoroaster  as  having  lived  6000  years  before  Xerxes.1 
The  fragment  in  which  this  statement  is  made  bears 
marks  of  authenticity,  and  a  Lydian  had  information 
near  at  hand  in  his  own  country.  No  native  Greek 
mentions  Zoroaster  till  the  middle  of  the  fourth  cen 
tury.  Deinon,  whose  son  Cleitarchus  accompanied 
Alexander  and  wrote  his  annals,  explained  "  in  the 
fifth  book  of  his  Histories  "  that  Zcapoda-rptjs  meant 
a<rrpo6uTt]s.2  From  about  the  same  date  comes  the 
witness  of  the  pseudo-Platonic  dialogue  Alkibiades 
/.,  where  we  read  of  "  Zoroaster  son  of  Oromasdes." 
Aristotle,  in  the  lost  work  Hepl  cE><Aocro<£/af,  is  said 
by  Diogenes 3  to  have  mentioned  the  two  Principles, 
"Zeus  or  Oromazdes  "  and  "  Hades  or  Areimanios." 
We  see  then  that  the  Greeks  knew  of  Zoroaster  and 
the  deity  he  preached  at  the  end  of  the  reign  of 
Artaxerxes  Mnemon  (404-358  B.C.),  and  knew  of 
Ahriman  a  little  later. 

Now  at  this  point  we  are  reminded  that  the  king 
just  named  was   an   innovator  in  religion.     Berosus 

1  See  the  note  on  Diogenes  Laertius,  below,  p.  415. 

2  Ibid.     See  also  p.  210  f. 

3  See  p.  415. 


tells  us l  that  he  set  up  images  of  Anahita ;  and  if 
his  testimony  is  questioned  as  dating  a  century  after 
Mnemon,  there  is  the  fact  that  the  king's  two 
inscriptions  support  the  statement.  In  that  from 
Susa  he  says,2  "  By  the  grace  of  Auramazda,  Anahita, 
and  Mithra  I  built  this  palace.  May  Auramazda, 
Anahita,  and  Mithra  protect  me ! "  And  in  the 
British  Museum  inscription  from  Hamadan  we  find 
the  words,  "  Let  Auramazda,  Anahita,  and  Mithra 
[protect]  me,"  curiously  spelt,  in  the  Old  Persian 
text.  The  triad  never  appears  in  the  earlier 
Achsemenian  Inscriptions,  and  it  is  very  significant, 
as  noted  elsewhere  (p.  239),  that  of  the  two  new 
comers  the  goddess  stands  first. 

How  far  does  this  take  us  ?  Practically,  I  think, 
to  a  conclusion  that  a  religion  much  like  that  of  the 
Yashts  was  established  in  the  Persian  court  and 
among  the  people  in  the  first  half  of  the  fourth 
century.  Anahita  had  fairly  arrived,  and  her  images 
were  familiar,  before  the  fifth  Yasht  could  be  com 
posed.  Zarathushtra's  name  was  venerated  as  that 
of  a  divine  sage  supposed  to  have  lived  millennia 
before.  The  Magi  (see  p.  135  f.)  had  taken  out  of 
the  Gathas  his  epithet  for  the  spirit  of  evil ;  and 
the  metrical  Yashts  could  be  composed  much  as  we 
have  them,  with  but  little  that  we  could  call  really 
Zoroastrian.  The  religion  was  practically  the  unre- 
formed  Iranian  polytheism,  with  the  Reformer's  name 
retained  to  atone  for  the  absence  of  his  spirit.  What 
new  elements  there  were  came  not  from  him,  but  from 
Semitic  sources,  or  through  the  powerful  influence  of 

1  Ap.  Clem.  Alex.,  Protr.,  v.  §  65.     See  p.  68. 

2  In  the  Susianian  version  ;  the  Old  Persian  is  defective. 


the  Magian  priesthood,  already  at  work.  The  day  of 
their  complete  triumph  was  not  yet.  How  they 
effected  a  further  syncretism,  introducing  much  that 
differed  widely  from  Zarathushtra,  and  even  from  the 
Iranian  religion  on  which  he  built,  is  another  story, 
to  which  we  must  devote  a  separate  Lecture.  When 
we  come  to  this,  we  shall  find  that,  though  another 
five  centuries  have  passed,  the  Magian  priests  pre 
served  the  old  remarkably  well,  and  did  not  only 
establish  the  new. 



They  said  unto  him,  Who  art  thou  ? 
He  said,  I  am  a  Voice. 

Gospel  of  John. 

THAT  Zarathushtra  is  a  historical  character,  who  was 
already  ancient  when  the  Greeks  first  heard  his  name, 
has  been  briefly  stated  in  the  preceding  Lectures. 
In  returning  to  the  subject  rather  more  fully,  I 
cannot  do  better  than  quote  the  excellent  summary 
of  Prof.  Geldner,  which  comes  to  us  with  authority 
from  one  of  the  two  or  three  greatest  living  experts.1 

The  Gathas  alone  claim  to  be  authentic  utterances  of 
Zoroaster,  his  actual  expressions  in  presence  of  the  assem 
bled  congregation.  They  are  the  last  genuine  survivals  of 
the  doctrinal  discourses  with  which — as  the  promulgator 
of  a  new  religion — he  appeared  at  the  court  of  King 

The  person  of  the  Zoroaster  whom  we  meet  with  in  these 
hymns  differs  toto  ccelo  from  the  Zoroaster  of  the  younger 
Avesta.  He  is  the  exact  opposite  of  the  miraculous  , 
personage  of  later  legend — a  mere  man,  standing  always 
on  the  solid  ground  of  reality,  whose  only  arms  are  trust 
in  his  God  and  the  protection  of  his  powerful  allies.  At 
times  his  position  is  precarious  enough.  He  whom  we  hear 
in  the  Gathas  has  had  to  face  not  merely  all  forms  of  out 
ward  opposition  and  the  unbelief  and  lukewarmness  of 

1  Enc.  Brit.l\  xxviii.  1040. 


adherents,  but  also  the  inward  misgivings  of  his  own  heart 
as  to  the  truth  and  final  victory  of  his  cause.  At  one  time 
hope,  at  another  despondency  ;  now  assured  confidence,  now 
doubt  and  despair  ;  here  a  firm  faith  in  the  speedy  coming 
of  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven,  there  the  thought  of  taking 
refuge  by  flight — such  is  the  range  of  the  emotions  which 
find  their  immediate  expression  in  these  hymns.  And  the 
whole  breathes  such  a  genuine  originality,  all  is  psycho 
logically  so  accurate  and  just,  the  earliest  beginnings  of 
the  new  religious  movement,  the  childhood  of  a  new 
community  of  faith,  are  reflected  so  naturally  in  them  all, 
that  it  is  impossible  for  a  moment  to  think  of  a  later 
period  of  composition  by  a  priesthood  whom  we  know  to 
have  been  devoid  of  any  historical  sense  and  incapable 
of  reconstructing  the  spiritual  conditions  under  which 
Zoroaster  lived. 

It  is  needless  to  elaborate  the  estimate  sketched  in 
this  paragraph,  which  must,  I  think,  command  the 
assent  of  all  really  careful  and  unbiassed  readers  of 
the  Gathas.  I  will  only  fill  in  the  outline  a  little  in 
two  parts  of  the  picture.  The  proper  names  of  the 
Gathas  supply  us  with  evidence  which  the  mythical 
theory  will  find  it  hard  to  rebut.  Zaratlmshtra  him 
self  is  a  problem  for  the  mythologist  to  start  with. 
By  various  manipulations  the  name  has  been  tortured 
into  conformity  with  meanings  more  or  less  appropri 
ate  for  legend  ; l  and  if  the  motive  be  supplied  we 
might  conceive  popular  etymology  at  work  in  a 
dialect  more  or  less  remote  from  that  in  which  the 
name  originated.  But  apart  from  such — and  surely 
the  burden  of  proof  must  rest  on  those  who  insist 
on  deserting  the  natural  for  the  recondite, — no  one 
could  doubt  that  like  his  father-in-law  Frasa-ustra 

1  One  of  the  most  ingenious  may  be  seen  in  F.  Miiller's  paper, 
WZKM,  \  892,  p.  264. 



the  Prophet  was  named  from  u$tra,1  the  camel,  just 
as  his  patron  PiSta-aspa  and  his  son-in-law  Jama-aspa 
from  aspa,  the  horse :  compare  Prexaspes  (Frasdspa] 
in  Herodotus.  The  case  is  strengthened  by  the 
similarity  of  the  other  names  in  the  primitive  circle. 
The  clan  name  Spitama2  is  not  quite  clear,  but  it  is 
most  naturally  derived  from  spita  (Skt  pvitra,  O.E. 
hwit),  "  white,"  which  does  not  lend  itself  to  sugges 
tions  of  myth.  Zarathushtra's  parents,  Pourushaspa 
("with  grey  horses")  and  Dughdhova  ("who  has  milked 
cows  "),  are  not  named  in  the  Gathas,  but  the  Later 
A  vesta  did  not  invent  these  very  prosaic  names.3  The 
Gathic  Hvogva,  the  clan  name  of  the  brothers  Fra- 
shaoshtra  and  Jamaspa,  and  of  Zarathushtra's  wife 
Hvovi,  means  "having  fine  oxen."  These  names  all 
suggest  very  clearly  the  pastoral  community  in  which 
they  arose.  The  Prophet's  cousin  Maidydimdvha 
("  (born)  at  mid-month")  has  a  name  of  a  different 
stamp,  but  no  less  unhopeful  for  the  theorist  out 
myth-hunting.  Zarathushtra's  children  are  equally 
suggestive  in  a  complementary  way.  His  son  Isat- 
vastra  (not  Gathic),  "  desiring  pastures,"  represents 
one  very  prominent  side  of  Zarathushtra's  ideal.  His 
daughter  Pourucista,  whose  nuptial  ode  is  Ys  53,  is 

1  See  AirWb,  1676,  where  zarant,  "old  "  (Sktjarant,  yepwv),  is  (I 
think  rightly)  taken  as  supplying  the  first  part.    We  may  imagine  his 
parents  commemorating  in  the  name  a  camel  they  had  ridden  for 
many  years.     (See  also  Zum  AirWb,  240,  for  the  latest  misdirected 
ingenuity  in  this  field.) 

2  Cf.  ^TrtTa/xas  in  Ctesias,  STriTa/u.evTjs  (an  Eastern  Iranian). 

3  Thomas  Hyde  (Historia,  p.  312)  equates  Dughdhova  with  Dodo, 
and  favours  us  with  a  plate  whereby  we  may  recognise  the  bird. 
Mythologists  might  make  capital  out  of  this  :  I  cheerfully  present 
them  with  the  hint. 


named  "  very  thoughtful "  by  a  father  who  regarded 
thought  as  great  riches,  and  did  not  grudge  it  to  a 
daughter.  The  whole  series  evidences  a  very  real 
and  lifelike  situation.  I  will  only  further  repeat 
(from  Bartholomae)  a  Gathic  verse  which  crystallises 
particularly  well  "  the  reality  of  the  conditions  under 
which  the  Gathas  arose  "  :— 

The  Ravi's  wanton  did  not  please  Zarathushtra  Spitama 
at  the  Winter  Gate,  in  that  he  stayed  him  from  taking 
refuge  with  him,  and  when  there  came  to  him  also  Zara 
thushtra1  s  two  steeds  shivering  with  cold  (Ys  5112). 

Zarathushtra,  travelling  in  the  bitter  cold  of  a  Persian 
winter,  had  been  turned  away  from  shelter  by  the 
servant  of  a  Kavi,  or  dacvayasjia  chief,  whom  he 
fiercely  calls  by  an  opprobrious  name.  This  little 
picture  from  homely  experience  may  be  commended 
as  a  promising  exercise  to  the  pupils  of  Jensen  for 
interpretation  in  terms  of  astral  mythology.  The 
reader  who  is  not  yet  satisfied  as  to  the  hopelessness 
of  the  quest  of  legend  in  the  Gathas  may  look  at  Ys 
2910,  31 15,  441S,  and  many  other  stanzas  in  the  transla 
tions  of  the  appendix  below,  with  the  note  on  the 
first  of  them. 

The  crucial  question  of  the  date  of  Zarathushtra 
has  been  discussed  already  in  the  first  Lecture.  The 
question  of  the  sphere  of  his  ministry  is  equally 
important  and  closely  linked  with  it.  I  need  not 
repeat  here  the  argument  of  Prof.  Williams  Jackson,1 
by  which  he  seeks  to  prove  that  Zarathushtra  was 
born  in  Adarbaijan,  in  Western  Iran,  but  that  there 
is  at  least  a  good  case  for  supposing  him  to  have 
preached  in  Bactria.  Prof.  Jackson  gives  impartial 

1  Zoroaster,  p.  205-225. 


summaries  of  the  argument  for  Media  and  that  for 
Bactria.  The  former  (p.  224)  includes  some  pleas 
which  disappear  automatically  if  there  is  anything  in 
my  doctrine  of  the  Magian  stratum  in  the  Avesta. 
Western  elements  will,  on  my  reading,  be  introduced 
by  Median  Magi,  who  need  have  had  nothing  at  all 
to  do  with  the  pure  Zarathushtrian  propaganda  of 
generations  earlier.  I  am  not  impressed  with  the 
oft-repeated  conjecture  that  the  Median  king 
Phraortes  was  the  first  to  introduce  Zoroastrianism  as 
the  national  religion  of  Media.  That  his  name  really 
means  "  confessor  "  is  only  one  among  several  possi 
bilities  ;  and  if  it  does,  we  must  not  overlook  the  fact 
that  Herodotus,  to  whom  we  owe  our  knowledge  of 
this  king's  existence,  tells  us  that  his  grandfather,  a 
person  in  private  life,  had  the  same  name.1 

I  had  occasion  at  the  end  of  Lecture  II.  to  sketch 
some  of  the  considerations  which  weigh  with  me  in 
my  conviction  that  I  must  go  forth  boldly  from  Prof. 
Jackson's  cautiously  neutral  position,  and  seek  the 
first  home  of  Parsism  in  Eastern  Iran.  Before 
developing  this  further,  I  should  like  to  quote  Prof. 
Bartholomae,  with  whose  judgement  on  this  impor 
tant  matter  I  am  glad  to  find  myself  in  accord.  He 
says  (in  AirWb,  1675)  :— 

The  assertion  that  Zarathushtra  was  born  in  the  West  of 
Iran  is  by  no  means  inconsistent  with  the  fact  that  all  de 
cisive  passages  of  the  Avesta  (especially  Yt  1906  f.)  point 
to  the  East,  the  neighbourhood  of  Lake  Hamun.  We  can 
suppose  that  the  Reformer  left  his  home  because  he  found 
no  sympathy  there,  or  was  even  driven  to  leave  it.  We 
may  also  thus  interpret  the  strong  emphasis  he  laid  on 

1  See  below,  p.  269. 


agriculture.  The  West  of  Iran  undoubtedly  took  a  higher 
position  in  agriculture  than  in  the  East,  where  complete 
settlement  was  still  far  oft'.  Zarathushtra  must  accordingly 
have  set  himself  to  transplant  to  the  scene  of  his  active 
work  the  blessing  of  the  well-ordered  conditions  prevailing 
in  the  home  of  his  birth.  It  is  thus  quite  conceivable  that 
Vishtaspa  as  a  wise  ruler  gave  his  special  favour  and  support 
to  the  exiled  preacher  just  because  of  these  efforts  of  his. 

That  Bactria  was  a  perfectly  possible  field  for 
Zarathushtra's  preaching  is  suggested  by  some  in 
ferences  from  a  report  we  possess  of  a  mission  of 
Tchang  K'ien  to  the  north  of  the  Oxus  in  128  B.C. 
The  envoy  found  in  Ta-yuan  (Khorassan)  and  Ta-hia 
(Bactria)  two  classes  of  population,  nomads  and  "un- 
warlike."  Of  the  latter  he  says  that  they  can  make 
themselves  understood  from  Ferghana  to  Parthia  with 
difference  of  dialect.  The  men  have  deep  blue  eyes 
and  large  beards  and  whiskers.  They  are  astute 
traders.  In  Ta-hia  there  is  no  supreme  ruler,  each 
city  and  town  electing  its  own  chief.  They  pay 
great  deference  to  their  women,  the  husbands  being 
guided  by  them  in  their  decisions.1  This  last  point 
recalls  the  Germans  of  Tacitus,  as  does  the  description 
of  their  physique.  Have  we  here  the  traces  of  the 
northern  immigration  ?  I  am  very  much  afraid  we 
cannot  credit  the  earliest  Indo-European  immigrants 
into  Asia  with  being  "  unwarlike,"  but  they  may  have 
attained  to  this  more  civilised  state  after  a  few  genera 
tions  of  settled  life.  The  nomads  on  this  view  will 
be  aboriginal.  However  this  may  be,  the  agricultural 
population,  dwelling  among  nomads,  reflects  the 
features  of  the  Gathas  sufficiently  well.  The  local 

1  I  summarise  from  Mr  W.  W.  Tarn's  paper,  "  Notes  on  Hellenism 
in  Bactria  and  India,"  Journ.  of  Hellenic  Studies,  xxii.  268-293. 


autonomy  answers  to  the  familiar  Avestan  institution 
of  zantupaiti  and  vlspaiti :  Vishtaspa  himself  need  not 
have  been  a  ruler  of  the  Western  autocratic  style. 

In  addition  to  Bartholomae's  quotation,  where  good 
Pahlavi  tradition  recognises  the  Hamun  swamp  in 
Saistan,  we  have  the  fact  that  Airyana  Vaejah  is 
mentioned  with  Xvdirizam  (Chorasmia)  and  Suy&a 
(Sogdiana)  as  the  last  link  of  a  chain  extending  from 
S.E.  to  N.E.1  With  the  statement  quoted  above  from 
Mr  Tarn's  paper,  that  in  the  second  century  B.C.  the 
Bactrians  could  make  themselves  understood  as  far 
as  Parthia,  we  may  compare  Strabo's  remark  (p.  724) 
that  the  name  of  Ariana  extends  as  far  as  to  include 
Bactrians  and  Sogdians,  who  are  "  nearly  identical  in 
speech  "  :  on  this  see  further  p.  233  f. 

There  are  sundry  arguments  on  points  of  detail 
which  might  be  elaborated  here,  but  I  only  wish  to 
dwell  now  on  some  general  considerations.  An  asser 
tion  more  often  made  than  proved  is  that  the  Avesta 
owes  much  to  Babylonian  ideas.  I  have  to  confess 
that  I  cannot  discover  what  these  ideas  may  be.2  A 
few  isolated  possibilities,  clearly  late  in  origin,  may 
be  collected ;  but,  speaking  generally,  the  Avesta  is 
remarkably  free  from  influences  of  the  kind,  and  when 
we  go  back  to  the  Gathas  there  is  literally  nothing  to 
suggest  it.  Now,  when  we  remember  how  widespread 
the  dominion  of  Babylon  was  in  matters  of  thought, 
we  can  hardly  doubt  that  only  a  distant  and  rather 
primitive  country  could  have  been  free  from  its  influ 
ence.  Note,  for  instance,  the  striking  absence  of  star- 

1  Reichelt,  A  vesta  Reader,  p.  97,  citing  Yt  I  Ou,  Vd\lf.,  and  the  cunei 
form  inscr.  Dar.  Pers.  e2,  NR  a3  (D.  5'2,  63  in  Bartholomae's  notation). 

2  See  this  discussed  more  fully  in  Lecture  VII. 


lore  in  the  Gathas,  and  its  strict  limitation  in  the  later 
Avesta.  Prof.  Cumont's  recent  American  lectures 
bring  out  impressively  how  powerful  was  the  astrology 
of  Babylon.  How  did  Parsism  escape  all  real  trace 
of  its  influence  ?  This  consideration  reinforces  what 
I  said  above  about  the  slowness  with  which  real  Zara- 
thushtrian  conceptions  found  their  way  to  the  West. 
We  shall  see  that  the  Amshaspands  are  the  most 
distinctive  feature  of  Zarathushtra's  own  thought. 
That  they  can  hardly  be  traced  outside  the  Avesta 
till  the  first  century  A.D.  is  an  obvious  fact,  even 
though  we  can  get  scraps  of  evidence  for  them  in 
earlier  days,  enough  to  establish  a  presumption  that 
they  were  already  in  being.1  But  if  we  had  nothing 
but  this  evidence  to  rely  upon,  it  would  go  hard  with 
us  in  our  effort  to  prove  the  historicity  of  Zara 
thushtra's  person  and  the  antiquity  of  his  Gathas. 
The  real  answer  to  the  sceptic's  question,  "  Where 
were  the  Amshaspands  during  the  last  five  centuries 
B.C.  ? "  is  "In  Eastern  Iran,  outside  the  world  we 
know."  The  religious  abstractions  of  Zarathushtra 
were  in  any  case  far  too  difficult  for  the  popular  mind. 
They  attracted  thoughtful  aristocrats,  and  chiefs  who 
felt  the  economic  advantages  of  the  extremely  sane 
and  practical  lore  of  husbandry  with  which  they 
seemed  so  strangely  linked.  But  outside  the  court 
we  may  be  quite  sure  the  Iranian  people  went  on  with 
their  old  nature-worship  as  before,  even  as  they  were 
certainly  doing  when  the  Father  of  History  travelled 
in  Aryan  lands.  And  when  at  last  the  esoteric  teach 
ing  of  the  great  prophet  and  thinker  found  its  public, 
it  was  through  the  interpretation  of  ritualist  Magi, 

1  See  below,  p.  104  f. 


faithful  to  some,  but  by  no  means  all,  of  the  doctrines 
they  had  brought  "  from  far,"  as  the  Haptanghaiti 
significantly  hints.1  The  Amshaspands  are  just  the 
element  most  likely  to  fall  into  the  background  until 
the  Magi  had  fully  developed  their  angelology,  and 
adapted  the  conceptions  of  the  Prophet  whom  they 
claimed  as  one  of  themselves,  to  fit  their  own 
elaborated  dualism.  I  do  not  think  we  need  more 
explanation  of  this  silence  about  the  most  conspicuous, 
but  least  popular,  element  in  the  theology  of  the 

I  have  discussed  elsewhere  (p.  39  ff.)  the  problem 
of  the  religion  of  the  Achsemenians,  and  have  argued 
for  the  conjecture  that  Vishtaspa  the  father  of  Darius 
was  deliberately  named  after  the  king  whose  favour 
gave  Zarathushtra  his  long-sought  success.  That 
Vishtaspa's  queen  Hutaosa  was  also  commemorated 
in  the  Achsemenian  family,  in  Atossa  the  daughter 
of  Cyrus,  is  the  only  piece  of  evidence  I  know  in 
support  of  the  claim  that  Cyrus  was  in  any  sense  a 
Zoroastrian.  It  seems  to  me  that  both  names  show 
simply  the  existence  of  a  pronounced  connexion  with 
the  ancient  royal  house  in  which  Zarathushtra  found 
shelter.  That  connexion  need  not  in  either  case  be 
religious.  It  is  possible  enough  that  Achaemenes 
(Hayamanis]  was  the  founder  of  a  new  dynasty  of 
Aryans  in  the  very  country  where  Vishtaspa  ruled, 
and  that  the  interval  was  occupied  by  Turanian  chiefs, 

1  Ys  426 :  aOaurunamca  paiti-ajgOram  yazamaide  yoi  yeyam  diiral 
axo'iito  dahyunqm,  "  and  the  coming  again  of  the  priests  we  adore, 
who  go  from  far  to  them  that  seek  Right  in  the  lands."  The  Later 
Avesta  distinguishes  priests  on  home  and  on  foreign  service  :  see 
Air  Wb,  681,  865. 


who  seized  power  under  conditions  vividly  portrayed 
in  the  legends  :  we  remember  that  Zarathushtra  him 
self  was  slain  (according  to  Firdausi)  in  the  Turanian 
invasion  at  the  storming  of  Balkh.1  To  other  indica 
tions  that  Vishtaspa's  country  was  in  Eastern  Iran,  I 
might  add  the  fact  already  noted  in  Lecture  II.  (p.  45), 
that  Darius's  father  was  in  Parthia  when  a  rebellion 
broke  out.  I  have  conjectured  that  he  was  "  King," 
like  Cyrus  at  Murghab,  but  not  "  King  of  kings," 
succeeding  to  a  satrapy  carved  out  of  a  petty  monarchy 
which  had  perhaps  been  established  in  Parthia  since 
the  Achsemenian  dynasty  arose.  The  other  branch  of 
the  family,  from  which  Cyrus  sprang,  may  have  estab 
lished  themselves  in  a  different  part  of  Eastern  Iran. 
When  they  extended  their  power  westward,  or  actually 
migrated  to  Ansan,  driven  out  possibly  by  the  same 
forces  which  we  have  postulated  for  the  fall  of  the  old 
Kayanian  dynasty,  we  naturally  cannot  tell.  I  do 
not,  of  course,  claim  this  reconstruction  as  anything 
more  than  conjectural,  but  I  think  it  meets  the  facts. 
It  suits,  moreover,  the  linguistic  phenomena.  In  dia 
lect  and  in  thought,  taken  together,  the  Gatha  Hap- 
tanghaiti  stands  nearest  of  Iranian  documents  to 
the  Veda.  Gathic  was  on  my  view  the  language  of 
a  district  lying  half  way  between  Parthia  and  the 
Indus,  now  Saistan.  Sa'istan  is  described  as  a  country 
of  fertile  soil,  well  fitted  therefore  for  either  tilling  or 
grazing,  and  suited  to  the  pursuits  which  are  preached 
so  earnestly  in  the  Gathas.  Here  the  Bundahish  finds 
Lake  Kasaoya,  in  which  the  seed  of  Zarathushtra  was 
preserved  under  the  guardianship  of  myriads  of 
Fravashis  till  the  time  of  Saoshyant's  conception. 

1  See  Jackson,  Zoroaster,  130. 


Somewhere  in  this  triangular  district,  with  Parthia, 
Bactria,  and  Drangiana  as  its  apices,  we  may  suppose 
that  Vishtaspa  reigned  and  Zarathushtra  won  his 
converts.  The  latitude  30°  N.  has  already  been  noted 
as  suiting  some  astronomical  conditions  (p.  24) :  it 
is  about  the  most  northerly  at  which  the  four  Regent 
stars  could  all  be  observed  ruling  four  quarters  of 
the  sky  when  their  leader,  Sirius,  rose.  This  would 
probably  mean  that  we  should  find  two  districts, 
fairly  separated  from  one  another,  but  both  near  the 
same  parallel,  to  account  for  the  difference  between 
Gathic  and  Later  Avestan  dialect.  The  latter  would 
presumably  be  located  on  the  western  side  of  our 
suggested  area,  so  as  to  be  a  step  towards  the  occupa 
tion  of  Media  which  comes  before  us  in  historic  times. 
The  totally  unknown  names  which  fill  the  roll  of  de 
parted  saints  in  Yt  13,  and  the  absence  of  historical 
monarchs  in  the  royal  records  of  Yt  19,  help  us  to 
realise  that  it  was  not  in  the  Avestan  period  that  the 
Religion  fairly  occupied  the  lands  we  know  from 
history.  I  have  tried  to  prove  elsewhere  (p.  77) 
that  the  first  half  of  the  fourth  century  marks  the 
most  distinctive  epoch  in  the  westward  spread  of  the 
syncretic  religion  which  absorbed  the  teaching  of 

Since  I  make  no  pretence  to  completeness,  and  aim 
only  at  examining  a  series  of  important  problems 
which  are  vital  to  a  real  understanding  of  the  religion, 
I  need  not  apologise  for  spending  more  space  on  the 
question  of  the  birthplace  of  the  faith  than  upon  the 
personal  history  of  the  Reformer.  It  is  little  enough 
that  we  can  gather  from  the  Gathas  as  to  Zara- 
thushtra's  life  and  work,  and  the  later  legends  are 


mostly  negligible,1  except  in  so  far  as  their  absurdity 
throws  up  in  relief  the  entire  credibility  of  the  story 
which  underlies  the  Gathas.  One  of  these  legends  I 
will  just  mention  because  of  its  literary  association. 
In  my  Early  Religious  Poetry  of  Persia  (p.  51-54) 
I  sketched  the  possibility  that  in  the  most  famous 
of  his  shorter  poems  Virgil  used  the  story  that  Zoro 
aster  laughed  when  he  was  born.  When,  then,  Virgil 
calls  on  his  wondrous  child, 

Incipe,  parue  puer,  risu  cognoscere  matrem, 

he  means  "  rival  the  storied  Sage  of  the  East."  I  may 
repeat  part  of  my  argument  in  support  of  this  thesis  : 

Assuming  that  this  means  "  to  greet  thy  mother  with  a 
smile"" — and  the  alternative  "by  her  smile"  forces  the 
Latin  intolerably  —  we  have  at  once  a  difficulty  which 
seems  to  have  escaped  the  commentators.  The  whole 
point  of  the  passage  is  that  the  child  is  new-born — indeed, 
if  Prof.  Conway  is  right,2  not  even  that.  And  when  did 
a  new-born  child  laugh  or  even  smile  at  anybody  ?  Is  not 
the  poet  here,  as  in  so  much  of  this  mysterious  poem,  using 
Eastern  imagery  ?  "  Risisse  eodem  die  quo  genitus  esset 
unum  hominem  accepimus  Zoroastrem,"  says  Pliny  (HN, 
vii.  15),  a  century  after  the  Eclogue  was  written.  Virgil's 
Child  should  share  that  unique  distinction.  Indeed,  the 
remaining  lines  of  the  poem  will  gain  point  if  we  assume 
that  Virgil,  so  diligent  a  reader  of  Greek  literature,  knew 
what  Greek  writers  had  told  of  Zoroaster  generations 
before,  his  receiving  laws  in  direct  converse  with  the  Deity. 
Virgil's  conclusion, 

Incipe,  parue  puer  :  qui  non  risere  parent!  [or  parentis], 
nee  deus  hunc  mensa,  dea  nee  dignata  cubili  est, 

1  These  are  of  course  accessible  in  Jackson's  Zoroaster. 

2  Vergil's   Messianic    Eclogue   (London,   1907),  p.    13    ff.       Note 
Mr  Warde  Fowler's  interesting  citation  from  Suetonius  in  the  same 
book  (p.  71),  showing  that  Virgil  himself  was  believed  at  birth  to 
have  abstained  from  crying. 


is  in  its  first  element  well  satisfied  by  this  allusion,  assum 
ing  the  classical  embellishment  that  the  divinity  not  only 
instructed  but  feasted  the  sage.  To  bring  in  the  second 
point  involves  the  assumption  that  the  West  had  received 
another  very  prominent  element  in  the  Zoroaster-legend : 
that  we  have  no  evidence  of  this  may  be  frankly  confessed, 
but  its  absence  is  entirely  natural.  In  the  Yashts  we  read  of 
Zarathushtra's  wife  Hvovi,  a  member  of  a  noble  family  at 
Vishtaspa's  court.  Two  brothers  of  this  family  are  named 
with  their  patronymic  in  the  Gathas  as  conspicuous  among 
Zarathushtra's  disciples  and  helpers.  .  .  .  On  this  wholly 
natural  basis  later  legend  built  a  marvellous  superstructure. 
Unfortunately  we  cannot  fix  the  period,  or  tell  whether 
there  was  authority  for  it  in  ancient  Avestan  texts.  Ac 
cording  to  this  story,  Zarathushtra  has  no  children  by 
Hvovi  in  the  natural  order,  but  they  are  to  become  the 
parents  of  three  sons  who  shall  be  born  as  the  Regeneration 
draws  near ;  the  last  of  them  [being]  Saoshyant.  ...  It  is 
obvious  that  Hvovi  might  just  as  well  be  a  goddess  bride 
outright,  and  Virgil  may  very  easily  have  heard  the  story 
in  this  form,  which  assimilates  it  to  myths  of  Greece  long 
familiar  to  him. 

I  need  add  nothing  to  my  exposition,  except  my 
gratification  that  I  have  convinced  my  colleague  Prof. 
Conway,  who  has  peculiar  claims  on  our  attention 
in  questions  affecting  Virgil's  "  Messianic  Eclogue." 
Another  legend,  that  Zoroaster  met  his  "  double  "  or 
Fravashi  walking  in  a  garden,1  is  interesting  because 
of  Shelley's  use  of  it :  see  p.  254.  But  as  we  should 
never  think  of  accepting  more  than  a  very  small 
percentage  of  the  legends  as  worthy  of  serious  in 
vestigation,  we  may  pass  on.  It  will  be  more  profit- 

1  My  colleague  Prof.  Herford  tells  me  that  Shelley  was  well 
read  in  the  history  of  non-Christian  religions,  which  had  been  made 
easily  accessible  by  the  French  encyclopaedists.  Apart  from  this 
hint  I  have  no  information  for  identifying  Shelley's  source. 


able  to  study  the  self-portraiture  in  the  Gathas,  dim 
and  scanty  though  it  is,  as  presented  in  the  translation 
below.  No  reader  even  of  these  crabbed  and  obscure 
texts  can  fail  to  realise  the  sacred  ambition  of  their 
author,  his  determined  fight  against  tremendous 
difficulties,  and  his  unquenchable  hope  of  ultimate 
triumph,  in  a  world  to  come  if  not  here  below. 

We  turn  to  the  characterising  of  Zarathushtra's 
theology,  apart  from  the  two  special  sides  of  it  which 
are  to  occupy  us  in  Lectures  IV.  and  V.  I  begin 
with  his  conception  of  God.  It  was  shown  in 
Lecture  I.  that  the  special  cultus  of  the  "  Wise " 
A  sura  must  have  been  in  existence  ages  before  the 
traditional  date  of  Zarathushtra,  and  long  before  any 
date  that  we  can  with  probability  assign  him.1  The 
"  Wise  Lord  "  was  the  special  deity  of  the  "  Aryans," 
by  whom  we  must  in  the  Susianian  version  of  the 
Behistan  Inscription,  which  records  the  fact,  under 
stand  the  highest  social  caste,  including  perhaps  all 
who  were  really  descended  from  the  immigrants  from 
Europe,  as  distinguished  from  aboriginal  populations 
that  spoke  Aryan  language.  The  'Api^avroi  of 
Herodotus  will  represent  the  same  caste.  Now, 
Zarathushtra  could  not  belong  to  two  of  the  six 
Median  tribes,  and  the  explicit  evidence  that  Ahura 
Mazdah  was  "  god  of  the  Aryans  "  is  reason  enough 
for  believing  that  he  was  himself  an  ariyazantu,  and 
not  the  Magus  that  much  later  ages  assumed  him  to 
be.  For  those,  therefore,  among  whom  Zarathushtra 
grew  up,  Ahura  Mazdah  was  the  "clan  god"  (p.  51) 
of  their  caste,  as  superior  to  the  gods  of  other  castes 
as  the  Aryan  was  to  the  Magus  or  the  Budian,  but 

1  See  above,  p.  31  f.,  and  the  more  technical  discussion,  p.  422  f. 


only  "  greatest  of  gods  " 1  after  all.  It  would  seem 
that  Zarathushtra's  first  step  was  to  rise  from  this 
higher  polytheism  to  monotheism,  from  a  god  who 
was  greatest  of  gods  to  a  god  who  stood  alone. 

I  am  assuming  for  the  present  that  Zarathushtra's 
religion  really  was  monotheistic,  postponing  the  clear 
ing  up  of  some  indications  which  appear  to  deny  this. 
It  is  natural  to  ask  whether  we  can  guess  any  of  the 
forces  that  worked  towards  monotheism  in  Zara 
thushtra's  mind.  Judging  that  mind  solely  from  the 
Gathas,  we  find  its  distinguishing  note  to  be  the 
remarkable  combination  of  abstractness  and  practical 
sense.  In  the  world  of  thought  Zarathushtra  lives 
among  qualities  and  attributes  and  principles  which 
are  as  real  to  him  as  anything  he  can  see,  but  never 
seem  to  need  personification.  But  the  ideal  never 
obscures  the  real  for  him,  and  his  communion  with 
shadowy  spiritual  essences  leaves  him  free  to  come 
down  to  cows  and  pastures  without  any  sense  of  in 
congruity.  Taking  this  as  a  clue,  we  see  at  once  how 
the  elevation  of  the  god  of  his  caste  would  effect  itself 
in  his  mind.  His  own  caste  was  agricultural,  and  there 
were  nomad  castes  from  which  they  were  receiving  per 
petual  injury.  The  fact  would  stimulate  a  lively  hatred 
towards  the  gods  of  their  oppressors.  And  the  national 
emphasis  on  Truth  would  produce  in  such  a  mind  the 
speculative  inference  that  Truth  must  be  One,  the 
two  qualities  of  the  Prophet's  thought  converging 
thus  on  one  great  inference  to  which  he  was  almost 
the  earliest  of  mankind  to  leap. 

The  God  who  takes  his  place  thus  at  the  centre  of 
the  Reformer's  religion  had  lost,  if  he  ever  possessed, 

1  So  maQista  baganam  on  the  Inscriptions. 


all  real  traits  of  an  elemental  deity.  On  this  I  need 
not  repeat  what  I  said  in  Lecture  II.  That  Mazdah's 
connexion  with  Varuna  is  but  slight,  as  Prof.  Jackson 
declares,1  may  be  set  beside  the  doubt  whether  Varuna 
himself  was  originally  elemental.  When  Darius  in 
his  great  credal  formula  glorifies  Mazdah  as  creator 
of  heaven  and  earth,2  any  primitive  identification  with 
the  bright  or  dark  sky  must  clearly  have  been  long 
forgotten.  And  if  there  are  traces  in  the  Avesta  of 
physical  attributes  which  need  explaining  as  survivals, 
we  have  only  to  remember  that  the  daevayasna 
avowedly  set  the  Sky-god  in  the  centre,  and  that 
plentiful  elements  from  that  cultus  remained  in  the 
thought  even  of  strict  Zoroastrians  in  the  period  when 
syncretism  was  advanced  or  complete.  When  Angra 
Mainyu  was  thought  of  as  VTTO  yfjv*  Ahura  Mazdah 
was  naturally  established  in  the  sky  without  any 
recollection  of  a  primitive  connexion.  Whether 
these  survivals,  then,  are  real  or  accidental,  matters 
very  little :  it  is  more  important  to  gather  up  the 
moral  and  spiritual  characteristics  of  the  God  so 
pictured.  He  is  Creator  of  all  things,  as  Ys  44  brings 
out  in  great  fullness,  and  Darius's  creed  in  brief. 
Darkness  as  well  as  light  is  his  work  (Ys  445),  and 
upon  him  the  whole  course  of  things  depends.  He 
knows  all  things — men's  secret  sins  (Ys  3113),  and 
events  of  the  distant  future  (Ys  3313).  He  has 
"absolute  sovranty"  (Ys  3121),  though,  as  we  shall 

1  Grundriss,  ii.  p.  633. 

2  With  which  we  may  compare  the  cult-title  DaOus,  "Creator," 
which  gave  a  name   to  the  tenth   month   in   the    calendar,   early 
adopted  in  Cappadocia  :  see  p.  434.     It  is  a  regular  title  of  Mazdah 
in  the  Later  Avesta. 

3  See  below,  p.  128  f. 


see  later,  the  presence  of  the  evil  power  limits  that 
sovranty  during  a  fixed  period  of  time.  And  with 
absolute  power  and  boundless  wisdom  he  has  com 
plete  freedom  from  any  stain  of  unworthiness  or  evil, 
This  is  quite  consistent  with  the  use  of  not  a  little 
anthropomorphic  phraseology,  which  is  never  allowed 
to  include  what  would  in  any  sense  mar  the  dignity 
of  the  conception  of  God  or  associate  grotesque  in 
congruities  with  the  reverence  due  to  him.  There 
is,  I  think,  no  anthropomorphism  in  the  Gathas  to 
which  we  could  not  find  an  adequate  parallel  in  the 
Old  Testament. 

To  understand  Zarathushtra's  doctrine  of  God  we 
must  carefully  study  the  Amshaspands,1  to  give  them 
the  Pahlavi  title  as  most  convenient.  It  is  very 
important  to  notice  that  the  title,  though  old  as  the 
Gatha  Haptanghaiti,  is  not  found  in  the  Gathas 
proper  at  all.  Bartholomae  is  right  in  urging  that 
the  collection  of  them  into  one  body  is  "  not  Gathic," 
and  results  in  the  "  obliteration  of  the  special  char 
acter  "  of  the  six  divinities  included.  The  segregation 
of  the  Six  under  a  collective  name  is  a  work  of  later 
theology.  It  is  true  that  there  are  many  verses  in 
the  Gathas  where  most  of  them  are  named,  and  one 
or  two  where  they  all  six  appear,  and  in  the  usual 
order,  in  a  verse  that  looks  very  much  like  a  catechism 
answer.'2  But  there  is  a  very  marked  difference  in 

1  In  its  oldest  form  (Gathic  dialect)  spanta  amdsa  or  in  reverse 
order,  each  occurring  once  in  Gatha  Haptanghaiti.     On  the  meaning 
of  spdnta,  see  below,  p.  1 44  f. 

2  F*  471 :  see  ERPP,  108  f.     I  ought  to  reserve  the  point  of  order 
as  far  as  the  first  two  are  concerned.     In  the  Gathas,  though  not  in 
the  Later  Avesta,  Asha  seems  to  lead.     All  the  Six  appear  also  in 
Ys  45 10,  in  marked  dependence  on  Ahura.     See  the  note  there. 


the  prominence  of  the  members  of  the  hexad.  A 
rough  enumeration  of  the  occurrences  of  the  words 
in  the  Gathas — discounted  by  the  difficulty  of  allow 
ing  for  places  where  the  names  may  have  no  reference 
to  the  Amshaspands — shows  that  Am  appears  ten 
to  fifteen  times  as  often  as  Haurvatat  and  Amdr9tdt, 
fully  three  times  as  often  as  XsaBra,  and  four  times 
as  often  as  Aramaiti.  Asha  and  Vohu  Manah  are 
obviously  far  more  important  than  the  others.  And 
it  is  not  easy  to  draw  a  sharp  line  between  the  least 
conspicuous  Amshaspands  and  other  spirits  of  the 
same  general  class.  Sraosa,  "  obedience,"  is  named 
almost  as  often  as  Haurvatat  in  the  Gathas ;  and 
Gdus  urvan,  "Ox-Soul,"  G-dus  tasan,  "Ox-Creator," 


and  A  tar,  "  Fire,"  have  a  conspicuous  place.  Barthol- 
omae  calls  them  all  Ahuras,  and  they  seem  to  be 
alike  marked  with  the  distinctive  feature  of  Zara- 
thushtra's  spirit-world.  That  is,  as  I  take  it,  the 
Ahuras  are  not  really  separate  from  Mazdah  or  sub 
ordinate  to  him :  they  seem  to  be  essentially  part  of 
his  own  being,  attributes  of  the  Divine  endowed  with 
a  vague  measure  of  separate  existence  for  the  purpose 
of  bringing  out  the  truth  for  which  they  severally 
stand.  When  the  very  name  of  Good  Thought  can 
be  replaced  by  "  Thy  Thought "  in  addressing  Mazdah, 
it  is  clear  that  Vohu  Manah  cannot  be  detached  from 
Mazdah  except  as  far  as  Spenta  Mainyu,  his  "  Holy 
Spirit,"  may  be  ;  and  if  this  is  true  of  one  of  the  two 
greatest  Amshaspands,  it  may  fairly  be  presumed  of 
the  rest.  When  in  later  times  Aramaiti  was  called 
Mazdah's  daughter,  and  Atar  his  son,  it  was  really 
:he  materialised  expression  of  the  same  fact. 

What  I  have  said  carries  with  it,  if  true,  the  sacri- 



fice  of  any  close  connexion  between  the  Amshaspands 
and  similar  figures  of  Vedic  or  of  Babylonian  myth 
ology.  In  an  early  work,  Ormazd  et  Ahriman  (1877), 
Darmesteter  tried  to  demonstrate  the  existence  of  a 
link  between  the  Amshaspands  and  the  Adityah  of 
India,  whose  name  "  infinite  ones "  resembled  the 
"  immortals  "  of  the  Avesta.  I  can  see  no  objection 
in  principle  to  our  allowing  the  Adityas  influence 
upon  the  process  of  collecting  the  Hexad  into  a 
special  class :  nor  should  I  protest  with  any  energy 
if  an  Aryan  title  were  held  to  lie  behind  the  name  by 
which  in  the  Haptanghaiti  the  heavenly  collegium 
was  distinguished.  Indeed,  I  think  it  likely  that 
Zarathushtra  intentionally  took  up  Aryan  my  thus 
where  it  compromised  no  principle.1  That  Aramaiti 
is  clearly  the  genius  of  the  Earth  in  the  Gathas  is 
noted  elsewhere,  and  that  the  connexion  between 
XsaOra  and  Metals  forms  the  basis  of  the  eschatological 
idea  of  the  ayah  \susta  (p.  157  f.):  that  Haurvatat 
and  Am9r9tat  are  Water  and  Plants  is  still  more 
patent.  One  might  almost  suggest  that  Zarathushtra 
took  out  of  the  popular  religion  the  animistic  idea  of 
tiiefravaSi  possessed  by  every  creation  of  Ahura,  and 
drew  from  it  what  suited  him. 

More  seductive  is  the  suggestion  that  the  Amsha 
spands  are  connected  with  the  Baby  Ionian  planet  world. 
There  is  the  fact  that  Assara  Mazas  in  the  Assyrian 
inscription  already  referred  to  is  associated  with  the 
"seven  Igigi."  Now  we  have  undeniably  seven 
Amshaspands  in  later  stages  of  Parsism.  In  Yt 
1382  f.  we  have  their  sevenfold  unity  insisted  on  with 

1  Some  good  points  in  this  direction  are  made  by  Pi'of.  Carnoy 
in  his  article  on  Aramaiti  in  Le  Museon,  n.s.,  xiii.  127  ff. 


emphasis,  and  their  common  relation  to  one  Father, 
the  Creator  Ahura  Mazdah.  We  must  suppose 
Sraosha  to  be  the  seventh.1  Sometimes  when  the 
seven  are  named,  Ahura  himself  is  included.  It  is 
noteworthy  that  in  Tobit  the  "  seven  spirits "  are 
expressly  dissociated  from  God  as  subordinate.  The 
trait  may  go  back  to  the  Magian  original  and  answer 
to  Assara  Mazas  and  the  seven  Igigi.  This  fixing  of 
the  Amshaspands  as  seven  has  parallels  in  the  history 
of  the  Adityas,  as  Darmesteter  showed.  Whether  it 
came  into  Parsism  by  way  of  Babylonian  astrolatry, 
or  represents  the  survival  of  an  Aryan  cultus  to  which 
Zarathushtra's  system  has  been  accommodated  by 
the  methods  of  Procrustes,  we  need  not  stay  to 
inquire,  for  we  are  concerned  with  Zarathushtra's 
own  concepts  alone.  And  here  we  must  resolutely 
put  aside  presuppositions  drawn  from  later  Parsism, 
and  realise  that  Zarathushtra  cannot  be  proved 
by  any  valid  evidence  to  have  created  a  Hexad, 
far  less  a  Heptad,  to  have  given  them  a  collective 
name,  or  to  have  depended  on  either  Aryan  or 
Babylonian  hints  for  the  invention  of  abstract  ideas 
strikingly  in  keeping  with  his  own  characteristic 

We  may  notice  further,  in  studying  the  Amsha 
spands  in  the  Gathas,  that  there  is  the  same  absence 
of  stereotyped  forms  which  we  shall  observe  later  in 
the  crucial  case  of  the  evil  spirit's  name.  In  the  Later 
Avesta  "  Right "  is  regularly  VahiUa  ;  "  Dominion  "  is 
Vairya,  "desirable  "; 2  "Piety"  is  Spjnta  ;  and  " Good 

1  So  Ys  5712  :  Sraosha  "  returns  to  the  assembly  of  the  Am.  Sp." 

2  "  Who  ought  to  be  chosen,,  i.e.  by  free  will  of  man  "  (Casartelli). 
It  is  not  Gathic,  but  Ys  4313,  5 11  show  it  in  the  context 


Thought "  is  a  fixed  combination.  But  in  the  Gathas 
vohu  ("good")  goes  with  -^saBra  (Ys  3122)  as  well  as 
manah,  and  "Good  Thought " may  take  the  superlative 
vahista  or  the  possessive  "  Thy,"  while  Aramaiti 
usually  does  without  an  epithet,  or  has  "  good  "  like 
her  comrades,  only  five  times  claiming  the  "holy" 
that  later  became  a  fixed  part  of  her  name.  This 
goes  with  the  obvious  fact  that  the  words  asa,  manah, 
and  -^saQra,  and  even  amaratat,  can  be  used  without 
reference  to  the  technical  meaning,  while  often  we 
are  left  with  no  decisive  criterion  by  which  to  decide 
between  the  small  initial  and  the  capital  in  our 
translation.  It  is  all  characteristic  of  the  early  stage 
of  development  in  which  we  find  these  floating 
abstractions,  still  perfectly  fresh  and  free.  We  must 
clearly  leave  plenty  of  time  for  the  appellations  to 
become  stereotyped.  Those  who  believe  that  the 
Indo-Scythian  coin-legend  Shahrevar  in  the  first 
century  A.D.  had  been  developed  out  of  \saOra  vairya 
in  a  generation  or  two  are  pressing  probabilities  very 
far  indeed ! 

Strabo  has  in  a  well-known  passage  described  the 
cult  of  Omanus  (or  Omanes)  in  Cappadocia.  The 
description  is  cited  in  full  below  (p.  409).  Omanus  is 
associated  with  Ana'itis,1  and  we  are  told  that  an 
image  of  him  is  taken  in  procession.  Strabo  had  seen 
this  cult  himself.  In  another  passage  (p.  512)  he 
says  that  Persian  generals  built  a  large  barrow  in 
commemoration  of  a  great  slaughter  of  Sacas,  "  and 
set  up  the  shrine  of  Ana'itis  and  the  gods  who  share 

1  Tavro.  8'  ev  T<HS  Trj<s  'AvatrtSos  KOL  TOV  'O/zavov  vevo/xtcrrai'  TOVTU>V  ot 
Kal  <rr)Koi  el(TLV,   Kal  £6avov  TOV  'Oyaavou  Tro/jnrfVfi.  ravra  yu.ev  ovv 
,  tKetva  8'  tv  rats  tcrropc'ats  Xeycrat  Kal  TO.  €</>€^s- 

THE   PROPHET   AND  THE   REFORM          101 

altars  with  her,  Omanus  and  Anadatus,  Persian 
divinities."1  He  connects  this  with  the  Sacasa,  which 
was  still  observed  at  Zela  (in  Pontus).  I  have  quoted 
the  passages  to  show  how  far  we  may  regard  them  as 
relevant  for  our  present  subject.  It  is  generally 
assumed  that  Omanus  is  Vohumanah,  while  'AvaSdrov 
is  supposed  to  be  a  false  reading  for  'A/uapSdrov,  and  so 
to  represent  A  mdrdtdt.  There  are  too  many  assump 
tions  here  to  make  me  feel  at  all  easy.  Good  Thought 
and  Immortality  might  be  selected  as  the  first  and 
the  last  of  the  Amshaspands,  according  to  the  usual 
later  order.  But  there  is  nothing  beyond  the  name 
Omanus  to  suggest  Amshaspands  at  all.  They  have 
no  special  link  with  Anahita,  who  was,  as  we  see 
elsewhere,  a  deity  quite  foreign  to  primitive  Zoro- 
astrianism.  That  need  mean  little,  for  clearly  the  cult 
here  described  has  suffered  severely  from  syncretism. 
But  the  l~6avov  of  Vohumanah  has  naturally  raised 
much  difficulty.  We  are  assuredly  in  a  very  un 
familiar  atmosphere  when  such  a  divinity  has  ceased 
to  be  aniconic  !  Geldner,  however,  has  supplied  a 
parallel  from  the  Avesta  which  is  convincing  enough.2 
[n  Vd  1920"25  rules  are  given  for  the  "cleansing"  of 
Vohumanah,  who  is  to  be  taken  up  by  the  worshipper 
and  laid  down  under  the  light  of  heaven,  and  then 
perfumed  with  incense.  The  Pahlavi  explains  it 
here  as  meaning  the  man's  clothes,  since  the  Amsha- 
spand  presided  over  cattle  and  therefore  presumably 
over  hides  used  for  raiment.  It  will  be  admitted 
that  Geldner's  suggestion  is  more  probable.  The 

Kttt     TO     Trj<i     'Ava'lTlSo?      KO.I     TOJV     <TVfJift<i)fJ.<j)V     @€WV      L€pOV     ISpVCTaVTO 

'O/xavov  /cat  'AvaSarov  IlepcriKuiv  Sai/xova>V' 
2  Grundriss,  ii.  39. 


Vendidad  is  not  likely  to  contain  ritual  matter  that 
is  older  than  Strabo ;  and  under  the  guidance  of 
Magian  ideas  a  worship  very  different  from  the  old 
Aryan  imageless  cult,  and  still  more  different  from 
the  spiritual  religion  of  Zarathushtra,  would  easily 
develop  with  the  name  as  the  only  link.  We  are 
familiar  enough  with  this  kind  of  process  in  the 
history  of  religion.  Those  who  question  the  identity 
of  Omanus  and  Vohumanah  should  at  any  rate  be 
ready  with  an  alternative  explanation,  when  Strabo 
definitely  says  he  and  "  Anadatus "  were  Persian 
Sai/uove?.1  The  recognition  of  Ameretat  in  the  corrupt 
name  that  follows  must  of  course  be  left  open.  I  am 
not  disposed  to  make  use  of  Strabo's  evidence  as 
proof  that  the  Amshaspands  were  popular  divinities 
in  Cappadocia  in  the  first  century.  A  scholar  whose 
scepticism  is  robust  enough  to  make  him  postulate 
Gathas  composed  in  a  dead  language  under  the  in 
spiration  of  Philo  will  not  be  troubled  greatly  with 
an  argument  drawn  from  the  identification  of  Omanus, 
nor  will  he  recognise  the  necessity  of  providing  an 
alternative.  I  only  point  out  here  that  Strabo's 
witness  is  perfectly  congruous  on  the  orthodox 
theory,  and  actually  gains  in  reasonableness  when  we 
put  Zarathushtra's  date  further  back  still.  It  is,  more 
over,  supported  by  the  nearly  contemporary  witness  of 
the  coins  of  Kanishka  and  Huvishka.  There  we  have 
Khshathra  and  perhaps  Asha,  with  the  form  stereo 
typed  and  developed  into  Middle  Persian  dialect; 
while  the  presence  of  the  disguised  form  of  the  name 
of  Vishtaspa's  father  Aurvat-aspa  testifies  to  the 
permanence  of  the  Zarathushtrian  tradition,  and  the 
1  See  note  l  on  p.  101. 


names  of  old  Aryan  gods — Verethraghna,  Tishtrya 
(or  perhaps  Tira — see  p.  435  f. ),  Mithra,  etc. — attest  the 
syncretism  of  the  Avesta  as  already  complete. 

But  here  comes  in  Prof.  Cumont's  argument  from 
the  Cappadocian  Calendar.  In  a  short  note  appended 
to  a  quotation  from  Moses  of  Chorene  ( Teactes,  ii.  6) 
he  calls  attention  to  the  fact  that  the  Cappadocian 
months  bore  Avestan  names  "  scarcely  altered,"  as 
may  be  seen  undeniably  from  the  names  as  restored 
from  a  medley  of  late  Greek  MSS.  in  Cumont's  first 
volume  (Textes,  i.  132).  The  discovery  is  indeed  an 
old  one,  going  back  to  Henri  Estienne's  Thesaurus ; 
and  the  great  names  of  Benfey  and  Lagarde  are 
connected  with  the  working  out  of  the  Persian 
equivalents.  In  Cumont's  note  (ii.  6)  we  read  that 
"  certain  indications  appear  to  show  that  the  adoption 
of  the  Persian  Calendar  in  Cappadocia  took  place  about 
400  B.C." — during  the  Achasmenian  period,  anyhow, 
though  it  is  "  very  difficult  to  determine  more  pre 
cisely  the  date  at  which  they  began  to  use  in  Asia 
Minor  these  foreign  names  of  the  months."  In  a 
separate  note  at  the  end  of  this  book  I  attempt  some 
discussion  of  the  case  which  Prof.  Cumont  thus 
accepts  as  proved — for  the  argument  is  only  presented 
by  references  to  other  literature, — and  here  I  will 
assume  its  truth.  It  will  be  noticed  at  once  that  all 
six  Amshaspands  are  in  the  list,  which  is  sufficient 
proof  that  if  the  great  Belgian  savant  is  quoted  in 
support  of  Darmesteter's  paradoxical  dating  of  the 
Gathas,  it  can  only  be  for  an  attenuated  fragment  of 
the  same.  For  of  course  Darmesteter's  case  rests  on 
the  assertion  that  the  Amshaspands  are  ultimately 
due  to  Philo  ;  and  here  is  Cumont  declaring  that  they 


not  only  existed  but  had  been  exported  to  Cappadocia 
nearly  four  centuries  before  Philo  was  born ! 

To  enlarge  further  on  Darmesteter's  unlucky 
theory  is,  however,  not  my  purpose  here.  How 
does  Cumont's  date  for  the  adoption  of  the  Persian 
Calendar  in  Cappadocia  square  with  the  evidence  we 
have  traced,  showing  that  the  Amshaspands  were 
almost  unknown  in  Western  Iran  until  a  period 
generations  later  than  this  ?  The  first  observation 
we  make  is  that  the  date  (which  would  bear  bringing 
down  towards  the  middle  of  the  fourth  century  if  we 
see  other  reasons)  is  in  the  reign  of  Artaxerxes 
Mnemon.  Now,  as  we  see  elsewhere  (p.  77  f.),  this 
king  was  the  promoter  of  a  new  religious  syncretism. 
If  Darius  I.  attaches  himself  to  Zarathushtra,  and 
Xerxes  represents  mostly  a  relapse  into  Aryan  nature- 
worship,  Artaxerxes  II.  is  emphatically  the  patron  of 
the  Magian  movement.  He  is  the  first  Achsemenian 
of  whom  we  can  say  that  the  Later  Avesta  fairly 
represents  his  religion.  Now  the  mere  repetition  of 
the  deities  of  the  Persian-Cappadocian  Calendar  is 
enough  to  show  what  has  happened  to  the  Amsha 
spands  meanwhile.  They  are,  in  order  of  their  months, 
the  Fravashis,  Asha  Vahishta,  Haurvatat,  Tishtrya(?),1 
Ameretat,  Khshathra  Vairya,  Mithra,  Apam  Napat, 
Atar,  Dathush  (the  Creator),  Vohu  Manah,  Spenta 
Armaiti.  The  names  are  in  their  later  form  with 
epithets  fixed  and  an  integral  part  of  the  title.  They 
are  altogether  out  of  order :  note  that  the  inseparable 
pair,  Haurvatat  and  Ameretat,  is  divided,  and  the  cult 
epithet  of  Mazdah  occurs  in  the  name  of  the  tenth 
month.  Then  we  find  the  six  Zoroastrian  angels 

1   Tir :  see  below,  p.  435  f. 


accompanied  by  two  others  (Fire  and  the  Creator) 
who  would  suit  the  Zoroastrian  and  the  pre-reforma- 
tion  creed  equally,  and  four  who  belong  distinctly  to 
the  older  Aryan  faith.  But  the  alien  Anahita  is 
absent,  replaced  seemingly  by  Apam  Napat,  who 
stands  next  to  Mithra :  the  Anahita  Yasht  is  called 
Abdn,  by  a  survival  of  this  name.  Since  after  West's 
investigation  we  have  reason  to  believe  that  Darius 
reformed  the  Calendar  in  a  Zoroastrian  direction,  we 
might  recognise  that  great  king's  acuteness  in  thus 
scattering  the  new  names  among  the  old.  But  we 
may  be  sure  they  never  became  popular  with  the 
meaning  which  Zarathushtra  attached  to  them.  It  is 
safe  to  believe  that  "  Desirable  Dominion  "  meant  for 
Persian  nobles  very  much  what  "  Empire "  means 
to-day  for  the  Jingo,  and  "  Best  Right "  something 
not  far  away  from  "  Might."  Nor  must  we  forget 
that  the  old  Sondergotter  of  whom  Zarathushtra 
availed  himself,  using  very  new  and  recondite  inter 
pretations  of  their  significance,  were  ready  to  come 
out  into  the  light.  Aramaiti  was  still  the  Earth  and 
Vohu  Manah  cattle.  It  is  quite  possible  that  the 
"  images  of  Omanus  "  seen  by  Strabo  in  Cappadocia 
were  very  much  like  the  Golden  Calves.  To  this 
extent  the  names  of  the  Amshaspands  may  well  have 
been  preserved  in  Magian  syncretism,  and  propagated 
by  the  Persian  grandees  who  set  up  their  luxurious 
state  in  south-eastern  Asia  Minor  and  in  Armenia. 
New  names  of  months  might  be  adopted  by  the 
common  people,  but  they  did  not  necessarily  under 
stand  them  any  better  than  a  modern  cockney 
understands  that  July  and  August  commemorate 
famous  Romans  of  the  past.  And  even  so  the 


Amshaspands  won  very  narrow  recognition.  It  is  not 
far  from  Cappadocia  to  Commagene.  How  much  of 
their  lore,  or  their  very  names,  did  Persian  propa 
gandists  take  to  that  country  ? 

For  this  we  of  course  interrogate  a  royal  witness, 
in  the  well-known  inscription  of  Antiochus  I.,  of 
whom  we  hear  first  in  69  B.C.  Dittenberger's  descrip 
tion  of  the  monument1  tells  us  of  lions  and  eagles 
sculptured  on  the  smoothed  eastern  and  western  sides, 
with  five  human  figures  seated  on  thrones — Zeus 
Oromasdes  in  the  middle,  Mithra  and  Artagnes 
(F^araOrayna)  on  the  right,  Commagene  and  King 
Antiochus  [their  Fravashis  ?]  on  the  left.  There  are 
other'  figures,  much  damaged ;  and  we  are  told  that 
Antiochus  portrayed  his  ancestors,  claiming  descent 
on  the  father's  side  from  the  great  Darius,  and  on  the 
mother's  from  Alexander  (!).  This  is  an  appropriate 
symbol  of  the  syncretism  he  shows  in  his  profession 
of  faith,  for  such  the  inscription  is  mainly  intended  to 
be.  He  begins  with  the  declaration  that  religion  is 
the  most  abiding  of  all  good  things  and  the  greatest 
joy,  and  he  traces  to  it  all  his  fortune  and  success. 
The  phrase  he  uses  here  supplies  a  reason  for  referring 
to  his  witness  at  this  point.  "All  through  my  life," 
he  says,  "  I  showed  to  all  men  that  I  regarded 
Holiness  (T^V  oa-ior^ra)  as  a  most  trusted  warden  of  my 
kingdom  and  an  incomparable  delight  (rep^iv  afjil^rov)" 
Later  on  he  says,  "  All  that  is  holy  is  a  light  burden 
(KOV^OV  fpyov],  but  heavy  are  the  woes  that  follow 
impiety  («ur«/8eta).M  Can  we  say  that  he  means  Asha? 
We  cannot  pronounce  dogmatically  on  the  question  : 
the  mention  would  be  appropriate  enough,  but  no 

1  Orientis  Grceci  Inscriptiones  Selectee,  i.  591  f. 


Greek  scholar,  ignorant  of  Asha's  existence,  would 
suspect  any  foreign  allusion  in  the  words.  And  the 
Persian  elements  in  the  King's  creed  are  clear  enough. 
He  says  that  he  has  set  up  his  monument  "  as  near 
as  might  be  to  the  heavenly  thrones  (ovpavlw  a^ia-ra 
dpdixav),"  "  for  that  the  body  of  my  outward  form 
(fjiopffis),  having  lived  in  happiness  unto  old  age, 
having  sent  my  God-loved  soul  to  the  heavenly 
thrones  of  Zeus  Oromasdes,  shall  sleep  unto  endless 
time."  This  last  phrase  has  the  suggestion  of  Zervan 
Akarana  ;  but  there  is  a  closer  equivalent  later  on 
(v.112  f.),  where  he  speaks  of  "  men  whom  endless  time 
(xpovos  aireipos  —  in  the  former  passage  aiwv)  shall  set  in 
the  (royal)  succession  of  this  land  in  their  own  lot  of 
life."  There  is  a  quasi-personal  tone  about  the  title 
which  would  suit  the  identification  very  well.  A  few 
lines  later  Antiochus  points  to  the  images  :  "  Where 
fore,  as  thou  seest,  I  have  set  up  these  god-befitting 
images  of  Zeus  Oromasdes  and  Apollo  Mithras  (who 
is)  the  Sun  (and)  Hermes,1  and  Artagnes2  (who  is) 
Herakles  (and)  Ares,  and  of  my  all-nurturing  country 
Commagene."  He  then  turns  to  remark  that  he  had 
set  up  his  own  image  in  their  company  and  in  the 
same  stone,  "preserving  a  just  counterfeit 

1  An  identification  which   is  suggestive  for  the   view  taken  of 
Mithra  in  that  age  and  place.     Dittenberger  quotes  Cumont,  and 
remarks  that  Mithra  and  Hermes  were  alike  ^^OTTO/WTOI',  and  that 
the  planet  which  the  Persians  assigned  to  Mithra  the  Greeks  gave 
partly  to  Apollo  and  partly  to  Hermes.      How  far  this  suits  the 
solar  character  of  Mithra,  by  this  time  pretty  generally  established, 
I  need  not  stay  to  ask.     There  is  obviously  not  a  little  confusion 
here  between  Greek  and  Persian  ideas. 

2  Dittenberger  observes  that  the  Greeks  gave  the  planet  Mars 
(in  Persian  Verethraghna)  to  Herakles  or  Ares. 


of  the  immortal  thought  ((ppovrls)  which 
ofttimes  stood  visibly  by  me  as  a  kindly  helper  in 
my  kingly  endeavours."1  These  remarkable  words 
point  distinctly  to  the  Fravashi,  and  to  the  belief  that 
it  sometimes  became  visible  as  a  man's  "double."2 
The  Fravashis,  then,  Mithra,  Verethraghna,  probably 
Zervan  Akarana,  and  the  "heroes"  (who  for  Antiochus 
would  be  the  "  gods  of  the  royal  house  "  recognised 
in  Achsemenian  religion3),  together  of  course  with 
Ahura  Mazdah,  are  the  divinities  to  whom  Antiochus 
offers  such  whole-hearted  allegiance.  There  is  no 
real  Zoroastrianism  here,  but  a  religion  not  far  from 
Mithraism  as  we  know  it  a  little  later,  with  the 
unreformed  Iranian  nature-  worship  still  only  slightly 
contaminated  with  elements  drawn  from  Semitic  or 
other  alien  sources  :  it  is  significant  that  there  is  no 
mention  of  Anahita.  In  such  a  pantheon  there  was 
no  room  for  Asha,  and  the  tentative  question  with 
which  this  paragraph  opened  receives  a  negative 
answer.  Antiochus  owes  much  more  to  Hellas 
than  to  Zarathushtra,  whose  teaching  had  not  yet 
established  itself  so  far  west. 

The  negative  results  which  meet  us  when  we  try 
to  trace  the  Amshaspands  in  the  West,  except  in  the 
Cappadocian  Calendar  and  in  rather  doubtful  forms 
like  Strabo's  Omanus  and  Anadatus,  must  not  sur 
prise  us  too  much.  These  conceptions  belong  to  the 
most  esoteric  side  of  Zarathushtra's  lore,  and  there  is 

1  rj  TToXXctKts  1/J.oi  TrapcurraTis  eTri^avr)?  cts  /3orj6eiav  aywvwj/ 

2  See  Lecture  VIII. 

3  See  p.  274.     Probably  the  same  are  meant  when  he  distinguishes 
deoi  and 


really  nothing  strange  in  their  absence  even  where 
a  true  Zarathushtrian  doctrine  has  been  absorbed. 
It  is  most  probable  that  until  the  Magi  popularised 
them  in  their  own  way,  after  an  adaptation  which 
preserved  little  beyond  the  name  and  the  traditional 
association  with  departments — fire,  cattle,  metals, 
earth,  water,  and  plants — they  were  never  heard  of 
except  in  cultured  circles.  We  may  perhaps  trace 
them  in  the  nomenclature  of  Persian  royal  and 
aristocratic  families.  Thus  Artaxerxes — answering 
to  an  Avestan  *A^a-^aOra,  "  one  whose  kingdom  is 
according  to  Right" — combines  twoof  the  Amshaspand 
names,  and  the  first  of  them  has  its  meaning  very 
much  on  the  lines  of  Gathic  thought :  the  frequency 
of  Persian  names  in  Arta  is  very  suggestive.  In  the 
inscription  on  the  grave  of  Darius,  Weissbach  restores 
the  word  [V^aumanisa,  and  suggests  connexion  with 
the  words  which  in  the  Avestan  appear  as  vohu 
manah.1  Unfortunately  the  inscription  is  too  frag 
mentary  for  us  to  get  any  connected  sense.  We 
cannot  therefore  be  positive  that  we  have  a  proper 
name  derived  from  "Good  Thought,"  or  even  a  case  of 
the  name  Good  Thought  itself.  If  we  may  trust  the 
conjecture,  we  cannot  miss  the  significance  of  the 
fact  that  the  two  words  of  the  Gathas  are  fused  into 
one,  here  and  in  Strabo's  Cappadocian  cult  and  (in 
the  analogous  case  of  the  third  Amshaspand)  on  the 
Indo-Scythian  coins.  This  is,  of  course,  obvious 

1  Die  Keilinschriften  am  Grabe  Darius  Hystaspis,  p.  40.  The 
Aryan  noun  manas  had  in  Old  Persian  (cf.  Ha^amani,^  passed  into 
the  -is  declension.  Weissbach  notes  the  parallel  in  Sanskrit  (iwsu 
and  manas),  and  makes  it  a  derivative  from  a  word  for  "  wisdom  ": 
he  ignores  the  Amshaspand. 


with  the  name  Auramazda,  and  when  Greek  evidence 
is  taken,  with  ' '  Apetpavios,  'AovWcuo?,  and  other  names.1 
Soderblom  has  tried  to  discount  this  evidence  by 
urging  that  the  Gathas  separate  existing  unities  in 
the  manner  of  learned  poetry.  But  his  parallel  lovem 
patrem  from  Plautus  does  not  impress  me — Plautus 
is  not  a  hopeful  source  for  learned  archaism !  And 
surely  it  is  far  more  probable  that  free  and  non 
technical  designations,  not  yet  crystallised  into  proper 
names,  were  in  after  generations  compressed  into 
set  terms.  Insistence  on  the  Eastern  origin  of 
Zarathushtra's  Reform,  the  esoteric  character  of  the 
Amshaspands  in  their  earliest  conception,  and  the 
length  of  time  (as  evidenced  by  development  of 
language)  during  which  a  drastic  adaptation  has  been 
working,  will  remove  all  the  difficulty  which  has 
been  felt  as  to  the  absence  of  these  spirits  from 
extra- Avestan  sources  until  a  late  period. 

On  the  Amshaspands  in  detail  I  have  had  something 
to  say  already,  and  shall  have  to  add  more.2  The 
primacy  among  them  belongs  to  Asa,  even  as  late  as 
the  Haptanghaiti.  Plutarch  accurately  translates 
'AX^Oem,  for  the  fact  that  Druj,  the  Lie,  is  the 
antithesis  of  Asha  from  the  first  makes  this  the  most 
outstanding  feature.  I  have  used  "  Right "  as  the 
word  that  covers  best  the  very  varying  use  of  the 
name,  which  from  Aryan  times3  denotes  the  right 
order  of  the  world,  things  as  the  Creator  meant  them 
to  be.  If  Philo  really  was  thinking  of  the  Amsha- 

1  See  on  this  subject  the  Excursus,  p.  422  f. 

2  See  p.  293-300. 

3  Skt  rta  does  not   quite  answer,  for  its  Avestan  equivalent  is 

but  there  are  parallels  for  this  difference  in  Abstufung. 


spands  in  his  curious  allegorising  of  the    Cities   of 
Refuge,  and  if   Darmesteter   rightly  attaches   A6yo? 
9eios  to   Vohumanah— whether  as   origin,  or  (as   we 
should  emphatically  assert)  as  derivative  or  parallel,— 
we   can   only  say  that  the  comparison  is  not  very 
happy,  and   that   the  Greek   Logos  comes  quite   as 
near  to  Asha  as  to  Vohumanah  in  the  Gathic  system. 
Indeed,    Darmesteter's    identification    would    be    a 
positive  hindrance  for  his  own  theory,  since  the  chief 
of  his  Awa/xef?  is  distinctly  second  in  the  Gathas  and 
only  attains  primacy  in  the  Later  A  vesta.     But  the 
Powers  of  Philo  have  so  little  in  common  with  the 
Amshaspands,  after  the  Logos  has  been  taken  out, 
that  we   need  only  make  a  general  reference.     The 
priority  of  Asha  over  Vohumanah  in  the  Gathas  is 
not  at  all  explicit.     It  may  perhaps  rest  on  the  idea 
that  Asha  is  more  inclusive,  representing  Mazdah's 
action,  creation,  and  law,  and  not  only  the  "  Thought " 
that  inspires  it.    But  Vohumanah — evvoia  in  Plutarch- 
is  comprehensive  enough.      He   is  the   Thought   of 
God,  and  of  every  good  man,  and  we  shall  see  later 
(p.  171)  that  he  is  the  very  paradise  that  awaits  all 
who  conform  to  the  will  of  God.     He   comes  very 
near  Mazdah's  "  Spirit,"  for  once  ( Ys  336)  we  actu 
ally  find  "  Good  Spirit "  replacing  "  Good  Thought." 
Xsadra  (ewo/zm)  represents  Dominion  as  an  essential 
attribute  of  God.      At  the  end  of   Ys  33  we   find 
Zarathushtra  bringing  Obedience  and  Dominion   to 
Mazdah.    The  Prophet  who  teaches  men  to  obey,  and 
the  "  man  of  Asha  "  who  spends  his  life  in  accumu 
lating   good   words,  thoughts,   and   deeds,   are  alike 
engaged  in  "  bringing  Mazdah  the  Dominion  " ;  for 
the  ultimate  triumph  of  Mazdah  over  the  Lie  will  be 


achieved  by  the  preponderance  of  good  works  over 
evil  at  the  great  Reckoning.  Khshathra  represents 
accordingly  the  "  far-off  divine  Event,"  but  also  its 
anticipations  in  time.  He  does  not  attain  to  the 
great  Triad,  Ahura  Mazdah,  Asha,  Vohu  Manah, 
which  outshines  all  other  conceptions  in  the  Gathas  ; l 
but  he  stands  out  well  above  the  other  Ahuras. 


Armaiti — so  the  name  is  spelt  in  our  MSS.,  but  the 
scansion  shows  that  it  was  tetrasyllable,  like  its 
Sanskrit  equivalent  aramati — retains  her  Aryan 
connexion  with  the  sacred  earth.2  I  have  ventured 
to  suggest  (ERPP,  p.  63)  that  her  very  name  may 
arise  from  a  popular  etymology  of  Aryan  antiquity, 
so  that  she  began  as  "  Mother  Earth  "  and  took  on 
her  the  idea  of  "  right-thinking,  piety,"  by  confusion 
with  another  combination.3  Plutarch  calls  her  a-cxpia, 
but  of  course  it  will  be  remembered  that  Wisdom  is 
a  very  practical  virtue  in  Parsism  from  the  first.  So 
the  connexion  with  the  beneficent4  Earth  was  easy 
to  maintain. 

A   further   characteristic   of  Aramaiti   should    be 

1  See,  for  example,  Ys  336,  309,  and  29,  with  my  notes. 

2  See  on  this  p.  lOf.     There  is  a  very  full  study  of  Aramaiti  by 
Prof.  Carnoy  in  Museon,  ii.s.,  xiii.  127  ff. 

3  I  ought  perhaps  to  repeat  my  suggestion  here  for  convenience. 
Since  Zpa  (epa£e,  "  earthwards  ")  is  an  old  word  for  Earth,  ard  mdtd  is  a 
possible  name  (in  nom.)  for  "  Mother  Earth,"  which  may  have  been 
confused  in  the  Aryan  period  with  the  word  for  "right  thinking," 
the  antitheses  of  which  are  found  in  Avestan  (Gathic  pairimaiti,  Ys 
323,  "perversity,"  and  tarJmaiti,  Ys  S34,  "heresy").    *Ard  disappeai-ed 
in  Aryan — the  adjective  prthivl,  "broad,"  ejected  its  accompanying 
noun  in  the  earliest  period  of  Skt.     But  our  earth  survives  to  witness 
it,  conflate  perhaps  with  a  distinct  name  Nerthus,  the  earth-deity  in 

4  Spanta,  see  p.  145  f. 


noted  here.  In  my  note  on  the  Gathic  verse,  Ys  45*, 
I  have  defended  the  rendering  which  makes  Ahura 
Mazdah  "the  Father  of  the  active  Good  Thought, 
and  his  daughter  is  Piety."  That  relationship  be 
comes  fixed  in  the  Later  Avesta,  where  also  Atar  is 
Mazdah's  "  son."  Gunkel1  brings  Aramaiti  thus  into 
comparison  with  Athena  as  daughter  of  Zeus,  Ishtar- 
Siduri,  goddess  of  Wisdom,  daughter  of  Anu,  Sin,  or 
Bel,  with  the  Gnostic  Sophia  and  the  Wisdom  of 
Proverbs.  I  mention  it  mainly  by  way  of  calling 
attention  to  the  very  trifling  anthropomorphism  in- 
,  olved  by  the  Gathic  phrase,  which  does  not  really 
go  beyond  Wordsworth's 

Stern  Daughter  of  the  Voice  of  God, 
O  Duty ! 

The  use  of  the  figure  in  Later  Parsism  is  markedly 
more  literal. 

Some  special  questions  arise  as  to  the  origin  and 
functions  of  the  inseparable  pair  who  in  later  Parsism 
were  assigned  the  last  places  in  the  Hexad  :  we  have 
already  seen  that  in  the  Gathas  the  line  is  not  drawn. 
"  Welfare  and  Immortality"  are  not  so  much  attri 
butes  as  gifts  of  Mazdah,  sharing  with  Aramaiti  the 
difference  which  thus  sets  them  apart  from  the  first 
three.     It  might  almost  be  suggested  that  symmetry 
had  something  to  do  with  the  fixing  of  the  Hexad ; 
and  if,  as  we  suggest,  the  Magi  were  really  responsible 
for  it,  the  assumption  would  be  quite   in  character. 
Late  descriptions  of  the  Amshaspands  represent  them 
sitting  three  on  each  side  of  Ahura  at  "  heaven's  high 
:ouncil- table."     On   one   side   are   the   three    whose 
lames  are  of  neuter  gender,  regarded  later  as  male ; 

1  Religions geschichtliche  Verstandnis  des  N.T.,  26. 


on  the  other  three  abstractions  with  feminine  names, 
naturally  treated  as  goddesses.     The   distinction   of 
sex  is,  as  Diogenes  saw,1  altogether  foreign  to  genuine 
Parsism,  as  is  proved  by  the  very  fact  that  asam,  vohu 
mano   and   ^saOrdm    are    neuter    nouns.     But    there 
happens  to  be  also  a  real  distinction  of  nature,  in  that 
half  these  spirits  represent  what  Mazdah  is  and  the 
other  half  what  he  gives.     It  is,  however,  more  than 
doubtful  whether  Zarathushtra  himself  would   have 
allowed  the  distinction,  any  more  than  he  would  have 
sanctioned  the  rigid  limitation  of  the  number.     He 
puts  Srao$a  side  by  side  with  XmOra,  as  we  saw  above ; 
and  Aramaiti  in  one  place  ( Ys  314)  forms  a  close  pair 
with  A  si,  "  Recompense,"  the  two  names  appearing 
idiomatically  in  the  dual  as  the  last  two  Amshaspands 
constantly  do.     There  is  no  real  reason  to   suppose 
that  a   difference  of  kind   was   conceived.     Putting 
aside,  therefore,  as  irrelevant  for  primitive  Parsism  the 
question  whether  Welfare    and    Immortality  should 
exclude  other  like  spirits  from  the  last  places  in   a 
closed  circle,  we  notice  two  points  about  their  history. 
That  they  represent  Water  and  Plants  appears  in  the 
Gathas  (Ys  517),  and  we  can  see  that  Zarathushtra  is 
preserving  and  adapting  an  old  Aryan  myth  of  the 
water  of  youth  and  the  food  of  immortality.     Prof. 
Jackson  notes 2  that  they  are  the  heavenly  counter 
parts  of  "  strength  and  abiding "  (tdvisl  utayuiti,  Ys 
517).     Now  Water  and  Plants  are  the  special  care  of 
other  genii,  notably  Anahita  and  the  Fravashis.     I 
am  inclined  to  think  that  the  twin  Amshaspands  were 
intended   to   supersede   the   latter,   who   were    very 
popular  among  the   people   to   whom   Zarathushtrs 

1  Procem.  6  ;  see  below,,  p.  4-13  f.  2  Grundriss,  ii.  638. 


preached,  and  that  the  unmistakably  foreign  Anahita 
came  in  from  the  other  side  to  poach  on  their  pre 
serves  at  a  later  time.  But  these  may  not  have  been 
the  only  ancient  divinities  for  whom  Haurvatat  and 
Ameretat  were  substitutes  or  rivals.  The  strongly 
marked  twin-like  character  of  the  pair  suggests  that 
they  may  have  replaced  the  Aryan  Dioscuri,  whose 
epithet  Ndsatyd  (of  unknown  meaning)  survives  on 
apparently  Aryan  ground  at  Boghaz-keui,  and  in  the 
Later  Avestan  form  many  centuries  later  as  the 
demon  NanhaiQya.1  Their  functions  do  not  strikingly 
recall  the  vivid  figures  of  the  Indian  Acvins,  except 
that  they  are  physicians  and  deliverers,  who  stave  off 
disease  and  danger.  But  all  we  know  from  other 
Indo-European  mythology  of  the  prominence  of 
Dioscuric  worship  makes  us  expect  to  find  in  Parsism 
:races  of  a  cultus  once  universal,  and  exceedingly 
Drominent  in  the  kindred  Indian  pantheon.2 

1  The  complete  loss  of  all  consciousness  of  original  meaning,  com- 
)ined  with  the  lateness  of  the  Avestan  texts  (Vd  109   1943)  which 
mme  this  featureless  demon  in  company  with  Indra  and  Saurva, 
nake  it  at  least  possible  that  it  has  been  reimported,  and  represents 
inti-Hindu  polemic  (cf.  the  Indian  gods  Indra  and  Cjirva).     Similar 
ate  polemic  is  probably  to  be  found  in  the  reference  (Yt  IS1*)  to  the 
icretic  Gaotdma,  who  is  best  taken,  I  think,  as  Gautama  the  Buddha  : 
ee  on  this  p.  28  f.     Bartholomae  does  not  give  his  reasons  (AirWb, 
•81)  for    regarding   this   as    improbable.      The    Buiidahish    (2810) 
ssigns  "  discontent "  'to  Nanhaidya  as  his  function,  and  has  in  the 
ame  passage  provinces  for  Indra  and  Saurva,  equally  unoriginal, 
>  all  seeming. 

2  To  complete  the  analogy,  Castor  and  Polydeuces  must  have  a 
ister  Helena,  as  the  A9vinau  have  A9vini.     Aramaiti  would  natur- 
ily  fill  this  place.     But  I  fear  this  is  all  too  speculative.     On  the 

hole  question  of  Twin-cultus  see  Dr  J.  Rendel  Harris's  works, 
he  Cult  of  the  Heavenly  Twins  and  The  Dioscuri  in  Christian 


Zarathushtra's  solution  of  the  problem  of  Evil,  and 
his  doctrine  of  the  Future,  I  shall  deal  with  at  greater 
length  in  the  next  two  Lectures  ;  and  a  few  details 
of  the  Gathic  system  may  be  left  to  be  annotated  in 
connexion  with  the  translation  that  appears  in  the 
Appendix.  One  subject  only  I  shall  take  up  here 
before  leaving  the  Gathas.  How  are  we  to  classify 
Zarathushtra  as  between  the  two  great  categories 
into  which  men  of  religion  naturally  fall  ?  Was 
he  Prophet  and  Teacher,  or  was  he  Priest  ?  Is 
the  religion  of  the  Gathas  practical  and  ethical,  or 
sacerdotal  ? 

Now  there  is  one  passage  in  the  Gathas  where  the 
preacher  does  call  himself  by  the  old  Aryan  name 
zaotar  (Skt  hotar),  "  priest."  In  Ys  336  (cited  Yt  47) 
we  read : 

I  who  as  priest  would  learn  through  Asa  the  straight 
paths,  would  learn  by  the  Best  Spirit  how  to  practise 

In  the  Later  Avesta  the  zaotar  is  a  chief  priest  whose 
special  duty  is  chanting  the  Gathas.  This  is  obviously 
the  successor  of  the  priest  who  in  Iranian  worship 
stood  before  the  Fire  chanting  a  Qeoyovin  or  Yasht,  in 
the  classical  description  of  Herodotus.1  By  the  time 
of  the  historian's  travels,  the  Magi  had  made  them 
selves  indispensable  for  this  function ;  but  there  is  no 
reason  whatever  for  postulating  a  sacerdotal  caste  in 
Aryan  times  or  in  the  days  of  Zarathushtra,  as  there 
was  apparently  in  the  Late  Avestan  period.  Thf 
aOravano  2  or  "  Fire-priests  "  do  not  appear  at  all  ir 
the  Gathas,  and  there  is  a  hint  in  the  Haptanghait 

1  See  below,  p.  395.  2  The  name  of  course  is  Aryan. 


that  they  came  from  abroad.1     They  are  of  course  the 
TTvpaiQoi  of  Strabo.     The  one  suggestion   of  a   caste 
connected  with  religion  in  the  Gathas  is  the  appear 
ance  of  three  classes  (see  Ys  321  and  note),  airyaman, 
•^actu,  and  wrazdna,  which  Bartholomae  makes  out  to 
be  severally  priests,  nobles,  and  husbandmen.     In  the 
Later  Avesta  we  have  a  fourfold  division — aOravan, 
raOaestar   ("charioteer"),    v astrya  fhiyant   ("herds 
man"),  huiti  ("artisan"):  the  name  for  "caste "was 
oiStra   (Ys    1917),    which   meant   "colour,"   like    the 
Indian  varna,  and  suggests  the  presence  of  distinct 
races.     The  six  tribes  of  the  Medes  (Herod,  i.  101) 
ire  a  parallel.     Now  we  can  hardly  understand  the 
Sathas  on  the  assumption  that  Zarathushtra  himself 
aelonged  to  a  separate  and  higher  priestly  caste.     His 
enthusiasm  for  husbandry  would  make  us  put   him 
with  the  lowest  of  the  three,  if  we  were  free  to  choose. 
The  question  really  is  what  functions  we  are  to  assign 
;o  the  airyaman.     The  word  is  Aryan.     In  the  Rig- 
/eda  (Macdonell,  Vedic  Mythology,  45)  Aryaman  is 
lamed  a  hundred  times  and  has  the  dignity  of  an 
4ditya  ;  but  he  is  "  destitute  of  individual  character- 
sties,"  and   nearly   always   named   with    Mitra   and 
^aruna.     Prof.  Macdonell   says  that  in  less  than  a 
lozen  places  the  word  means  "  comrade,"  much   as 
Vlitra   means    "  friend,"   and    this   is    apparently   its 
neaning  in  the  Gathas.     Is  there  anything  to  prevent 
he   "brotherhood"  in   question  from  being   simply 
he  fellowship   of  teacher   and   disciples   who   amid 
auch   detraction   (Ys   334)    strive    to    spread    their 
nessage  through   the   community  ?     The   very   fact 

1  See  p.  88.     On  priestly  families  in  Indo-European  times,  see 
trader,  in  ERE,  ii.  42  f. 


that  the  other  two  castes  are  the  same  in  Gathas  and 
Later  Avesta — for  the  "  nobles  "  and  the  "  charioteers  " 
are  obviously  the  same — makes  it  more  striking  that 
the  place  of  the  dOravan  is  taken  in  the  Gathas  by  a 
class  the  name  of  which  at  any  rate  carries  no  sort  of 
priestly  function.  That  Zarathushtra  is  teacher  and 
prophet  is  written  large  over  every  page  of  the  Gathas. 
He  is  perpetually  striving  to  persuade  men  of  the 
truth  of  a  great  message,  obedience  to  which  will 
bring  them  everlasting  life.  He  has  a  revelation,  a 
mystery,  which  he  offers  to  "  him  who  knows  "  :  it  is 
an  esoteric  doctrine  which  bigoted  partisans  of  the 
old  daevayasna  will  not  receive.  Men  have  their 
free  choice,  though  Aramaiti  pleads  with  the  wavering 
soul.  He  who  has  brought  the  message  will  be  men's 
judge  at  the  last,  for  he  has  given  them  a  word  of 
Truth  and  they  spurn  it  at  their  peril.  There  is  no 
room  for  sacerdotal  functions  as  a  really  integral  part 
of  such  a  man's  gospel ;  and  of  ritual  or  spells  we  hear 
as  little  as  we  expect  to  hear,  after  studying  the  life 
and  work  of  religious  reformers  in  other  parts  of  the 
world.  Ritual  has  its  place,  but  it  is  not  in  the  first 
fresh  dawn  of  a  religion  that  is  going  to  live.1 

I  have  not  by  any  means  exhausted  the  topics  that 
may  be,  or  even  ought  to  be,  discussed  in  a  lecture 
upon  the  Prophet  of  Iran.  But  my  limits  do  not 
permit  of  any  attempt  at  completeness,  and  I  have 

1  That  Zarathushtra  was  afterwards  assumed  to  be  a  Magus,  and 
that  his  name,  with  a  superlative  suffix  (zaraOmtrotdmc?)  became  a 
term  for  "high  priest,"  I  regard  as  irrelevant.  I  have  given 
reasons  elsewhere  (esp.  p.  197  f.)  for  believing  that  the  Magi  adapted 
his  system  long  after  his  day  and  claimed  his  name.  This  is  ob 
viously  natural,  and  it  is  just  the  sort  of  question  on  which  the 
assertions  of  later  generations  count  for  very  little.  See  also  p.  41 1 

THE   PROPHET   AND   THE    REFORM          119 


still  to  sketch  the  main  lines  of  the  Counter-reforma 
tions  which  are  to  be  recognised  as  underlying  the 
Later  Avesta,  as  I  have  already  tried  to  prove.  The 
very  possibility  of  such  counter-reformation  depends 
on  the  disappearance,  very  soon  after  the  Prophet's 
death,  of  that  passionate  conviction  which  made  him 
incapable  of  countenancing  any  concession  to  rival 
inferior  creeds.  Prof.  Eduard  Meyer1  remarks  on  the 
accommodating  character  of  Mazdeism,  which  could 
adopt  foreign  deities  by  the  simple  device  of  making 
them  servants  of  Ahura  Mazdah.  He  mentions 
Aramaic  inscriptions  in  Cappadocia  which  show  Bel 
recognising  Din  Mazdayamis  as  his  sister  and  wife. 
This  accommodating  temper,  utterly  foreign  to  the 
enthusiasm  of  Zarathushtra,  must  have  been  the 
national  bent,  to  which  the  people  reverted  easily 
when  the  fiery  personality  was  withdrawn.  It  was, 
however,  this  very  power  of  adaptation  which  made  it 
possible  for  the  religion — even  if  only  in  forms  widely 
differing  from  the  original  —  to  spread  beyond  the 
bounds  of  its  early  home.  There  was  no  nationalism 
connected  with  it,  no  suggestion  that  Ahura  Mazdah 
was  still  what  he  had  been  at  first,  the  "  god  of  the 
Aryans"  alone.  Great  Persian  magnates  who  had 
estates  in  Armenia  and  Cappadocia  took  their  religion 
into  these  districts.  The  inscription  of  Antiochus 
of  Commagene  shows  with  what  energy  many  of 
these  propagandists  carried  the  faith.2  But  it  was 
not  the  highly  abstract  and  profound  teaching  of  the 
Founder  that  went  forth  conquering  and  to  conquer. 

1  Enc.  Brit.11,  s.v.  "Persia"  (210A). 

2  The  foregoing  remarks  are  largely  drawn  from  some  excellent 
observations  of  E.  Meyer,  in  Gesch.  d.  Alt.,  iii.  128. 


In  the  absence  of  enthusiasm  for  his  deeper  doctrines, 
never  really  understood,  it  was  easy  to  keep  his  names 
and  forms,  and  deny  his  spirit,  unconsciously  enough. 
Hence  the  two  successive  movements,  one  of  mere 
relapse,  the  other  of  drastic  innovation,  which  created 
the  Later  Avesta  and  transformed  Zarathushtra's 
religion  till  it  would  have  been  hardly  recognised 
by  him.  The  mischief  was  only  partially  undone  by 
the  Sassanian  reformers,  who  could  not  revive  the 
Prophet's  spirit  for  the  multitude  of  clouds  that  had 
arisen  to  hide  him. 

The  earliest  among  these  movements  is  seen  in  the 
Gatha  Haptanghaiti.  Its  identity  of  dialect  shows 
that  we  cannot  separate  it  far  in  period  or  in  place 
from  the  Gathas  proper.  Its  extraordinary  difference 
in  religious  standpoint,  with  the  fact  that  it  is  in 
prose,  might  point  to  its  coming  from  a  community 
distinct  from  that  which  received  and  preserved  the 
Gathas  themselves.  It  was  not  a  community 
consciously  alien  from  the  Reform,  for  we  actually 
find  Zarathushtra  installed  as  an  object  of  worship.1 
If  the  passage  where  this  appears  is  an  original  part 
of  the  text — and  of  course  in  a  prose  composition  we 
have  no  resources  for  proving  this — we  naturally  pre 
sume  that  we  have  to  do  with  a  period  a  generation 
or  two  after  Zarathushtra's  death,  and  a  social  stratum 
separated  from  the  literary  and  presumably  aristocratic 
traditions  in  which  the  verse  Gathas  arose.  In  such 
a  community  it  was  inevitable  that  the  old  Aryan 
nature-worship  should  remain  almost  unaltered.  The 

1  Ys  4t22,  "  we  adore  Mazdah  and  Zarathushtra."  This  answers 
to  Later  Avestan  passages  like  Yt  1394,  where  Zarathushtra  is  wor 
shipped  with  zaoQra  and  barasman. 


already  ancient  cult  of  "the  Wise  Ahura,"  the  special 
divinity  of  the  aristocracy,1  had  been  adopted  by  their 
feudal  retainers ;  and  the  Prophet  who  had  been  so 
effectively  patronised  by  the  court  was  duly  honoured 
as  yazata,  though  perhaps  the  fact  that  he  is  named 
but  once2  illustrates  the  relatively  small  importance 
that  he  had  attained  in  the  popular  esteem.  We 
naturally  compare  with  this  the  oft-discussed  absence 
of  Zarathushtra's  name  from  the  Inscriptions.  The 
most  characteristic  creations  of  Zarathushtra,  the 
Amshaspands,  are  before  us,  and  they  are  collected 
into  a  definite  community  and  distinguished  by  a 
corporate  name.  But,  as  we  have  seen,  this  is  only 
an  apparent  conformity,  which  may  very  well  cover 
a  real  return  to  an  old  Aryan  use.  Asha,  whose 
name  is  conspicuously  Aryan,  is  far  the  most 
prominent  among  the  individual  Amshaspands,  of 
whom  only  the  first  four  are  named  at  all :  whether 
Ox-Soul  and  Ox-Creator  and  Fire  are  meant  to  be 
included  among  the  "  Lords  "  we  have  no  means  of 
knowing.  They  are  worshipped  manifestly,  as  are 
the  Waters,  Fravashis,  and  Haoma.  The  Waters 
receive  their  old  Aryan  name  of  "  wives  "  of  the  deity, 
being  linked  with  the  sacred  Earth.3  An  interesting 
contact  with  the  Inscriptions  may  be  seen  in  Ys  371, 
where  it  is  said  of  Ahura  Mazdah  that  he 

made  the  Cattle  and  the  Right,  made  the  Waters  and 
the  good  Plants,  made  the  Light  and  the  Earth  and  all 
that  is  good. 

The  words   have   a  ring  decidedly  like  that   of  the 

1  See  above,  pp.  32,  60. 

2  Wolff  would  make  him  implied  in  Ys  359.  3   Ys  381. 


recurrent  Lobgesang  of  Darius  to  the  "  great  god 

who  made  this  earth,  who  made  yon  heaven,  who  made 
man,  who  made  welfare  for  man,  who  set  up  Darius  as  king, 
one  king  of  many,  one  lord  of  many.1 

Zarathushtra  had  after  all  left  behind  him  the  em 
phasis  that  he  most  desired — the  uniqueness  of  the 
Creator  as  the  central  feature  of  the  faith.  Darius 
preserved  his  system  more  perfectly  than  the  framers 
of  the  Haptanghaiti,  who  compromised  monotheism 
seriously,  and  never  even  named  the  powers  of  evil 
which  came  so  prominently  into  the  Gathas  and  the 
records  of  Behistan. 

The  characteristics  of  the  Haptanghaiti  are  repro 
duced  and  emphasised  in  the  older  Yashts.  Here 
the  Aryan  "  Heavenly  Ones "  are  back  again  in 
their  original  place,  only  formally  subordinated  to 
the  supremacy  of  Ahura  Mazdah.  And  even  the 
supremacy  itself  seems  grievously  affected  when 
Mazdah  himself  is  said  to  have  sacrificed  to  the 
yazata  whose  praises  occupy  the  hymn,  and  im 
plored  his  or  her  help.  Anthropomorphism  is 
complete.  The  Amshaspands,  who  in  the  Haptang 
haiti  were  already  male  and  female,2  are  definitely 
the  children  of  Ahura,3  just  as  the  Waters  were  his 
wives.  The  details  of  this  revived  Aryan  cultus 
will  prompt  some  comments  elsewhere.4  Here  it 

1  Dar.NR  a1,  al. 

2  Ys  393,  "  die  guten  (Gotter)  und  guten  (Gottinnen),"  as  Wolff 
has  it — the  original  has  simply  bonos  bonasque.     We  must  remember 
that  the  Gathic  names  are  neuter  and  feminine  respectively,  and  the 
latter  accordingly  no  more  represent  female  spirits  than  the  former 
represent  males  :  see  above,  p.  113  f. 

3  Yt  IS82.  4  See  p.  271  f. 

THE    PROPHET    AND   THE   REFORM          123 

must  suffice  to  note  how  the  atmosphere  of  the 
Vedas  is  brought  back,  not  in  the  Gathas,  which 
come  so  near  to  the  Vedic  in  language,  but  in  the 
verse  Yashts,  whose  very  metre  approximates  to 
those  of  Indian  poets  more  closely  than  the  measures 
found  in  the  Gathas.1 

The  last  stage  in  the  syncretism  is,  on  our  theory, 
connected  with  the  Magian  name.  It  is  not  always 
possible  to  assign  a  given  feature  of  later  Parsism 
to  the  one  side  or  the  other  of  the  reaction,  but  the 
general  lines  are  clear  enough.  We  are  not  yet 
ready  for  the  analysis  of  Magian  dualism,  nor  for 
that  of  the  ritual  which  so  largely  depended  upon 
it.  Here  I  will  only  recall  my  remark  that  until 
the  Sassanian  revival  the  West  only  knew  as  much 
of  real  Zoroastrianism  as  the  Magi  chose  to  transmit. 
Having  once  decisively  claimed  the  Prophet  as  one 
of  themselves,  the  Magi  followed  on  to  make  truly 
their  own  as  much  of  his  system  as  they  were 
capable  of  apprehending.  They  preserved  the 
Gathas  and  the  Yashts,  and  composed  the  ritual 
parts  of  the  Avesta.  They  do  not  seem  to  have 
learnt  how  to  imitate  the  verse  which  they  trans 
mitted  so  well,  and  all  their  own  additions  seem  to 
have  been  in  prose.  Our  most  notable  Greek  re 
presentations  of  Parsism,  especially  that  in  Plutarch, 
are  of  Magianism  essentially.  Zarathushtra's  doctrine 
was  kept  in  the  East,  just  as  his  own  vitality  was 
fabled  to  have  been  kept  in  the  waters  of  the  eastern 
lake,  till  the  time  came  for  Saoshyant  to  be  born. 

1  On  the  whole  subject  of  Avestan  verse,  see  the  chapter  in 
ERPP :  it  has  not  seemed  sufficiently  relevant  to  my  present 
purpose  for  me  to  repeat  its  substance  here. 


Even  so  the  full  system  of  the  Prophet  was  known 
after  the  Sassanian  age.  But  by  that  time  the 
world  was  no  longer  ready  to  listen.  Zarathushtra 
did  not  come  "  in  the  fullness  of  the  time " — he 
came  too  early,  and  too  late  as  well ! 



Fravarane  Mazdayasno  ZaraQustris  Vldaevo  Ahuratkaeso. 

ie  I  declare  myself  a  Mazdah- worshipper,  a  Zoroastrian,  an  enemy 
of  the  Daevas,  holding  Ahura's  Law." — OLDEST  ZOROASTRIAN  CREED. 

FROM  Zarathushtra's  doctrine  of  God  we  pass  on 
to  his  doctrine  of  Evil,  which  is  an  essential  part 
of  it,  and  the  most  conspicuous  of  his  contributions 
to  religious  thought.  I  call  it  essential  because  it 
involves  a  limitation  of  God's  omnipotence,  even 
though  it  be  only  during  a  definite  period  of  time. 
In  his  admirable  article  on  Iranian  Dualism  in  the 
latest  volume  of  Dr  Hastings'  Encyclopedia,1  Dr 
Casartelli  very  justly  says  that  our  calling  the  Parsi 
solution  of  the  problem  of  Evil  "  dualistic  "  is  mainly 
a  matter  of  terms.  He  would  himself  retain  the 
term  on  the  ground  that  the  Parsi  Evil  Spirit  is 
independent,  and  can  create.  I  had  rejected  it, 
since  it  seemed  to  me  inconsistent  with  an  optimist 
outlook  on  the  future.  Whatever  view  Parsism 
has  taken  as  to  the  past  history  of  the  evil  principle, 
it  has  always  declared  that  its  future  is  utter  and 
final  destruction.  If  we  restrict  ourselves  to  the 
origin  of  evil  and  its  development  during  human 
history  past  and  future,  we  may  use  the  term 

1  EKE,  v.  1 1 1  f. 



dualism  fairly  enough,  in  Dr  Casartelli's  sense,  for 
until  the  Frasok9r9ti  there  is  a  power  independent 
of  God  which  God  cannot  destroy,  sharing  his 
peculiarly  divine  prerogative  of  creation. 

But  this  Lecture  is  primarily  concerned  with 
Zarathushtra's  doctrine  of  evil,  and  here  I  can  see 
no  evidence  whatever  to  justify  the  imputation  of 
dualism.  We  have  already  realised  that  Parsism 
as  we  have  it  must  be  distinguished  in  many 
important  respects  from  the  teaching  of  its  Founder, 
as  far  as  we  have  this  in  the  Gathas.  When 
we  come  to  discuss  Magianism  we  shall  find  that 
nothing  is  more  characteristic  of  that  system  of 
thought  than  the  "  tendency  towards  .  .  .  bilateral 
symmetry,"  as  Dr  Casartelli  puts  it :  whether  it  is 
Iranian  or  not  we  will  consider  later  on.  I  want 
to  lay  all  possible  stress  on  the  importance  of  de 
lineating  Zarathushtra's  doctrine  of  evil  from  the 
Gathas,  and  the  Gathas  alone.  We  shall  find  that 
unless  we  think  ourselves  justified  in  reading  back 
from  the  Later  Avesta  and  the  Pahlavi  classics, 
we  have  really  no  proof  that  the  Founder  himself 
originated  many  of  the  most  conspicuous  elements 
in  Parsi  dualism.  He  shares  with  his  successors 
the  confidence  that  "  Good  will  be  the  final  goal 
of  ill."  But  the  very  name  of  Ahriman  is  due  to 
a  later  application  of  an  incidental  epithet  occurring 
once  in  the  Gathas.  The  creative  privilege  of  "  the 
Lie,"  her  independence  of  Mazdah,  the  co-eternity 
in  the  past  of  the  "  Bad  Spirit "  with  the  "  Holy 
Spirit,"  and  other  crucial  notions  which  later  theology 
developed,  cannot  be  proved  from  the  Gathas.  I  do 
not  feel  at  all  sure  that  the  Prophet  himself,  if  con- 


fronted  with  accurately  drawn  pictures  of  the  Evil 
Spirit,  gathered  from  the  New  Testament  and  the 
Later  Avesta  respectively,  might  not  have  pointed 
to  the  first  as  in  some  important  points  nearer  to 
his  own  view,  except  for  the  absence  of  any  opening 
for  regarding  Good  and  Evil  as  "twins." 

The  rather  unprofitable  question  as  to  originality 
is  raised  about  Zarathushtra,  as  about  all  other  great 
religious  teachers.     To  judge  from  the  language  of 
some  theorists  in  our  midst,  no  new  religious  idea 
ever  was  invented :  they  were  all  implicit  somehow 
in  protoplasm   at   the   creation,  if  such   an  archaic 
term  may  be  used   for   brevity.     I  am  not   careful 
to  defend  the  Prior  it  at  of  Zarathushtra  or  of  yet 
greater  teachers,  for  the  higher  originality  is  generally 
found  in  one  who  can  re-mint  old  gold  and  "  make 
it  current  coin."     I  am  content  to  accept  the  fact 
that   before   Zarathushtra   began   his   own  thinking 
he  was  familiar  enough  with  the  idea  of  a  stream 
of  tendency,  not  ourselves,  making  for  unrighteous 
ness.     Iranian    folk-religion,    like   most   others,    had 
plenty  of  hurtful  spirits ;  and  if  Zarathushtra  found 
the  source  of  all  evil  in  a  spiritual  power  working 
havoc  in  the  world   and   in   the  heart  of  man,  he 
was  only  systematising   a  philosophy  the  germs  of 
which   were    easily   found.       But   in    laying    down 
man's  duty  in  the  face  of  this  evil  power  he  may 
claim  credit  as  the  pioneer  of  a  most  momentous 
revolution.     In  every  other  religion,  outside  Israel, 
there  were  demons  to  be  propitiated  by  any  device 
that  terror  could  conceive.     Zarathushtra  from  the 
first  bade   men   "  resist  the   devil."     The    Magi,  as 
Plutarch  tells  us  (p.  399  f.  below),  invoked  "  Hades  and 


Darkness  "  in  a  sunless  place,  with 
and  the  blood  of  a  wolf.  Mithraists  dedicated  offer 
ings  DEO  ARIMANIO.  But  none  dared  to  interpo 
late  such  an  element  in  the  Avesta.  The  faithful 
Zoroastrian  has  never  had  anything  to  do  with 
Ahriman  but  to  fight  him  and  destroy  his  creation. 
It  was  a  veritable  emancipation  for  devil-ridden  souls, 
ever  cringing  with  fear  before  powers  of  darkness 
possessing  vague  but  intensely  real  capacity  for 

We  may  return  for  a  moment  to  the  subject  just 
referred  to,  and  ask  whether  we  may  postulate  the 
existence  in  unreformed  Iranian  religion  of  a  con 
ception  of  a  god  of  darkness,  capable  of  suggesting 
to  Zarathushtra  some  lines  for  his  portraiture,  while 
no  less  supplying  elements  against  which  he  would 
protest  with  all  his  power.  Between  Herodotus, 
Plutarch,  and  the  Anahita  Yasht  I  think  we  can 
answer  the  question  in  the  affirmative.  Plutarch,  as 
we  have  seen,  credits  the  Magi  with  an  apotropaic 
ritual  carried  on  in  a  sunless  place  and  addressed  to 
Hades  and  Darkness.  The  Magi  in  his  time  were 
priests  of  a  very  syncretistic  religion,  and  such  rites 
suited  their  antitheses  entirely,  whether  they  got  the 
hint  from  an  Aryan  infernal  power,  or  from  the 
Babylonian  Nergal,  or  from  a  devil  of  their  own. 
That  the  last  of  these  alternatives  may  be  rejected 
is  proved,  1  think,  by  a  remarkable  story  in  Herodotus 
(vii.  114).  Amestris,  wife  of  Xerxes,  as  we  noted  in 
Lecture  II.,  buried  alive  fourteen1  Persian  children 

of  high  rank,  to  propitiate  ru  VTTO  yfjv  \eyo/u.evu>  elvai  6ea). 

This  we  compare  at  once  with  the  mention  of  Hades 

1  On  fourteen,  cf.  Frazer,  Golden  Bough3,  v.  i.  32. 


in  Plutarch  and  elsewhere  as  the  nearest  Greek 
equivalent  of  Ahriman.  Since,  as  we  saw  (p.  57), 
this  could  not  possibly  have  been  done  by  Magi,  we 
naturally  assume  that  it  was  Iranian,  and  that  Xerxes 
and  his  wife,  as  might  be  expected,  reverted  to  usages 
abhorred  by  the  Prophet,  whose  doctrine  the  really 
religious  Darius  followed  in  the  main.  The  Mithraic 
sacrifice  will  also  derive  from  this  chthonian  rite, 
which  has  parallels  enough  in  Indo-European  religion. 
Now  the  A  vesta  itself  gives  indications  of  the  ex 
istence  of  this  heresy.  In  the  Gathas  even  ( Ys  3110) 
we  read  of  a  teacher  of  evil  who  declares  "the  Ox 
and  the  Sun  the  worst  things  to  behold  with  the 
eyes,"  who  perverts  the  pious  and  desolates  the 
pastures.  Bartholomae  sees  here  an  allusion  to 
nocturnal  orgies  of  daevayasna,  associated  with 
slaughter  of  cattle.  The  Mithraic  taurobolium 
naturally  suggests  itself,  though  Prof.  Cumont 
regards  this  as  late  in  origin  : 1  might  it  not  after  all 
have  been  based  upon  a  really  ancient  usage  ?  Then 
in  Yt  594  we  have  a  very  curious  reference  to 
"  libations  "  brought  by  "  (/ami-worshipping  Liars  " 
(drvanto  daevayasnavho]  to  Aniihita  after  sunset, 
which  Anahita  declares  will  be  received  by  Daevas 
and  not  by  her.  Darmesteter  compares  Vd  779, 
where  we  read  of  a  "  forbidden  libation  offered  in 
the  twilight "  ; 2  also  Nirangistdn  48,  condemning  a 
libation  to  the  Good  Waters  (the  predecessors  of 

1  See  his  Textes,  i.  334,  n.  5.     He  regards  it  as  ancient,  but  not 
in  Mithraism.       But  he  mentions  (p.  335)  the  immolation  of  the 
mythic  Ox,  which  might  well  suggest  it. 

2  Darmesteter  renders  "in  the  dead  of  the  night/'  which  suits 
his  own  parallels  badly.     I  correct  from  Wolff. 



Anahita)  after  sunset  or  before  sunrise.  All  this  I 
think  is  a  heretical  ritual,  originating  in  Iran,  and 
surviving  in  Mithraism,  in  the  superstitions  of  Xerxes 
and  others  whose  Zoroastrian  orthodoxy  was  but  skin- 
deep,  and  in  practices  adopted  by  the  Magi,  as  con 
genial  to  their  system.  They  threw  it  off  later,  when 
in  the  Sassanian  revival  a  healthier  doctrine  came  to 
the  front,  more  directly  dependent  on  the  esoteric 
lore  of  Zarathushtra,  as  preserved  by  this  same  caste, 
which  had  in  greater  or  less  degree  countenanced  a 
less  desirable  practice. 

There  were  not  wanting  other  evil  divinities  in 
the  Iranian  world  to  which  Zarathushtra  came. 
As  usual,  they  presided  over  special  departments. 
There  was  "  Bad  Season  "  (Duzyairya,  O.P.  Dusiyar, 
dusyariy  in  the  Manichsean  MS.  from  Turfan),  who 
brought  the  farmer  all  he  dreaded  most.  There  was 
"Wrath"  (aesma,  cf.  ofca,  ira),  drunken  rage,  unless 
indeed  he  is  a  personification  due  to  Zarathushtra 
himself,  which  is  perhaps  more  likely.  The  serpent 
(azi,  cf.  Skt  ahi,  Gk.  ex*?)  might  have  been  developed ; 
but  the  latent  possibilities  were  left  very  much  as 
were  those  of  the  figure  in  the  third  chapter  of 
Genesis.  A  general  name  for  dangerous  spirits  was 
also  available  in  buiti,  Skt  bfiuta,  "ghost"-— the  word 
which  Darmesteter  during  a  temporary  eclipse  of  the 
philological  faculty  wanted  to  compare  with  Buddha.1 
There  were  probably  many  more  to  choose  from, 
and  the  fact  enhances  the  significance  of  the  choice 
that  was  made.  The  supremacy  of  Truth  among 
the  virtues  was  as  conspicuous  for  the  settled  agri- 

1  See  SEE,  iv.2  209  n.  Perhaps  we  need  only  accuse  Darmesteter 
of  taking  rather  too  seriously  an  etymology  out  of  the  Bundahish. 


culturists  of  Eastern  Iran  as  for  Darius  and  his 
Persians  in  the  West ;  and  Zarathushtra  was  following 
the  strongest  element  in  the  national  character  when 
he  concentrated  all  evil  into  the  figure  of  Falsehood, 
Druj,  the  antagonist  of  Asa,  "  Truth  "  or  "  Right." 
It  is  hardly  realised  as  it  should  be  that  for  Zara 
thushtra  himself,  as  studied  in  his  own  Hymns,  "  the 
Lie  "  is  beyond  all  comparison  the  name  for  the  spirit 
of  evil.  Drdgvant,  answering  well  to  the  phrase  in 
the  Apocalypse,  "whosoever  loveth  and  maketh  a 
Lie,"  is  the  perpetual  term  for  those  who  take  the 
devil's  side  in  human  life.  So  conspicuous  is  this  in 
the  Gathas  that  1  feel  strongly  inclined  to  make  its 
very  similar  conspicuousness  in  Darius's  Inscription 
a  balancing  argument  in  determining  the  great 
king's  religion.  For  him  as  for  Zarathushtra  the  Lie 
sums  up  all  evil.  A  rebel  against  his  royal  authority 
—which  was  after  all  only  that  of  a  de  facto  monarch 
— "  lies  "  by  the  mere  act  of  rebellion,  when  there  is 
admittedly  no  imposture  about  it.  A  spirit  of  dis 
loyalty  in  a  province  is  described  by  the  same  com 
prehensive  noun.  The  Old  Persian  word  is  one  that 
appears  in  the  Avesta,  though  not  commonly,  being 
the  same  word  as  druj,  but  in  a  different  declension.1 
One  other  possible  ancestor  of  Zarathushtra's  arch- 
devil  may  be  noticed  on  a  suggestion  of  Tiele- 

1  The  cognate  druh  in  Sanskrit  retains  hardly  any  trace  of  the 
meaning  "perfidious,"  being  generalised  into  "injurious/'  or  (as  a 
noun)  "  fiend "  (fern.).  The  German  Betrug  and  the  derivatives 
Traum,  dream,  make  the  meaning  "  deceive  "  probable  for  the  earliest 
stage ;  and  the  Iranian  meaning  is  unambiguous.  We  must, 
however,  note  Prof.  Schrader's  reminder  (Ileallex.,  p.  27)  that  the 
Old  Norse  draugr,  Old  English  dredg,  support  the  suggestion  of 
"  malignant  spirit "  as  primary. 


Soderblom,  p.  374,  where  Ahriman's  (Later  Avestan) 
epithet  pouru-mahrka,  "  full  of  death,"  is  regarded  as 
perhaps  a  survival  from  an  old  god  of  death,  dwelling 
underground.  This  will  naturally  be  the  "  Hades " 
with  whom  Plutarch  equates  Areimanios,  the  "  god 
said  to  dwell  under  the  earth,"  to  whom  the  wife  of 
Xerxes  offered  victims  buried  alive.  (See  p.  128  f.) 
He  must  belong  to  the  unreformed  Aryan  religion : 
the  Magi  could  not  allow  him  to  inhabit  the  sacred 

In  one  very  remarkable  passage  of  the  Gathas 
Zarathushtra  propounds  his  doctrine  of  the  origin  of 
evil.  The  thirtieth  Yasna  has  the  appearance  of 
being  a  Lehrgedicht,  a  concentration  into  verse  form 
of  the  Prophet's  central  doctrines  for  the  purpose  of 
retention  in  the  memory.  The  third  stanza  of  this 
Gatha  is  so  crucial  that  I  must  quote  it  exactly, 
with  the  thankful  preface  that  for  once  there  is  no 
serious  divergence  between  our  authorities  as  to  its 

3.  Now  the  two  primal  Spirits,  who  revealed  themselves 
in   vision  (?)  as  Twins,   are   what  is   Better  and   what  is 
Bad  in  thought  and  word  and  action.     And  between  these 
two  the  wise  once  chose  aright,  the  foolish  not  so. 

4.  And  when  these  twain  spirits  came  together  in  the 
beginning,  they  established  Life  and  Not-life,  and  that  at  the 
last  the  Worst  Existence  shall  be  to  the  liars  (dngvatam ),  but 
the  Best  Thought  to  him  that  follows  Right  (asaone). 

A   Pahlavi   treatise    declares    that    Ormazd    and 

1  In  ERPP,  93,  I  recorded  Geldner's  dissonance.  But  in  his  last 
writing  on  the  subject  (Lesebuch,  324)  he  accepts  "  Twins "  for 
yyma,  which  enables  us  to  treat  it  as  certain  :  its  importance  is 
manifest.  That  he  still  differs  as  to  ^afnd  ("  nach  ihrem  eigenen 
Wort ")  matters  less. 


Ahriman  were  once  brothers  in  one  womb.1  The 
doctrine  was  specially  associated  with  the  sect  of  the 
Zervanites,  who  found  the  necessary  parent  in  the 
concept  of  "  Boundless  Time."  There  is  nothing  to 
prove  that  Zarathushtra  wasted  on  metaphysics  time 
which  he  needed  for  practical  teaching ;  and  he  may 
be  safely  assumed  to  have  meant  only  that  Good  and 
Evil  were  co-eternal  in  the  past,  or  arose  together 
"  in  the  beginning  "  (pouruyg,  cf.  Skt  purva,  "former  " 
or  "  first ").  Evil  is  thus  the  antithesis,  the  counter 
action  of  Good.  Plutarch's  description  of  the  Evil 
Power  creating  avrlre-^yoi  to  the  creations  of  the 
Good  (p.  401  below),  though  primarily  Magian  in 

1  See  Dinkart,  ix.  SO4  (SBE,  xxxvii.   242),  where  the  saying  is 
attributed  to  the  demon  Aresh,  and  expressly  repudiated  by  the 
Avestan  Varstmansar  Nas/c,  according  to  the  record  of  the   Pahlavi. 
West  refers  to  the  Pahlavi  on  Ys  SO3,  and  compares  the  statement 
of  the  Armenian  Eznik  (Haug,  Essays,  p.  13). 

2  On  the  Zervanites  see  Soderblonij  La  Vie  Future,  p.  248.     The 
subject  lies  far  beyond  our  limits,  for  the  date  of  the  triumph  of 
the  sect  is  in  the  fifth  century  A.D.     But  the  statement  of  Berosus 
that  "Zerovanus"  was  an  ancient  king  proves,  as  Breal  notes,  the 
idea  current  as  early  as  the  fourth  century  B.C.     Its   presence  in 
Mithraism  also  attests  its  antiquity.     But  Cumont  observes  (Textes, 
20)  that  the  Avestan  traces  of  it  are  small.     And  in  Zad-sparam's 
Selections  (SBE,  v.  160)  we  have  it  expressly  stated  that  in  aid  of  the 
celestial  sphere  [Auharmazd]  produced  the  creature  Time  (zorvan). 
This   statement  agrees    with  the  spirit    of  the  Avestan  theology. 
Mithraism  might  make  Kronos  (i.e.  Zervan)  supreme  ;  but  for  the 
true   Avestan   system,   whether  Zarathushtrian   or    Magian,   Ahura 
must  be  first.     It  may  be  noted  that  long  ere  Zervan  secured  his 
temporary  exaltation    he    had  changed  his  original  character.     In 
Mithraism  he  was  Kpovos,  presumably  a  misunderstanding  of  Xpdvos, 
to  which  he  no  longer  answered.     And  in  late  Greek  writers  he 
appears  as  TVXTJ,  which  agrees  with  the  strong  fatalism  that  marked 
the  heresy.     See  Dr  L.   H.   Gray's  article  on  "  Fate  "  (Iranian)  in 
ERE,  v.  792- 


origin,  is  quite  in  accordance  with  the  original  con 
ception  of  Zarathushtra.  The  doctrine  that  evil  is 
essentially  negative  may  certainly  claim  him  as  a 
first  promulgator  ;  but  we  must  take  the  epithet  as 
connoting  the  utmost  activity.  The  evil  spirit  is 
simply  the  opposite  of  the  good  in  every  one  of  his 
functions,  fighting  against  him  and  his  followers 
perpetually,  and  striving  only  to  ruin  every  creation. 
The  name  "  driy-having  "  (drdgvant)  is  given  to  him 
in  the  stanza  following  those  I  have  quoted,  thus 
attaching  him  to  the  Druj  in  the  same  way  as  wicked 
men ;  and  he  is  said  to  have  chosen  the  doing  of 
what  is  worst,  just  as  the  Holiest  Spirit  chose  Right 
( Asha),  truth  and  perfection. 

It  would  follow  reasonably  from  this  that  the  evil 
spirit  is  the  spirit  of  "  the  Lie,"  regarded  as  the 
primary  evil  power,  and  that  in  the  same  analogy 
the  "Holy"  or  "Holiest  Spirit"  is  the  spirit  of 
Ahura  Mazdah.  This  last  point,  however,  is  not 
quite  certain.1  It  seems  best  to  accept  the  view 

1  Bartholomae's  note  (Air  Wb,  1 1 39)  should  be  cited  :  "  They  were 
conceived  of  as  twins,  who,  remaining  in  everlasting  strife  with  one 
another,  created  all  that  exists.  The  relation  of  the  good  (holy) 
spirit  to  Ahura  Mazdah  seems  not  quite  clear.  It  appears  that 
Zarathushtra' s  teaching  is  not  devised  on  pure  dualistic  lines,  but 
that  it  elevates  over  the  two  primeval  and  equipotent  spirits  of  the 
strict  dualism  the  divinity  of  Ahura  Mazdah.  In  this  way  the  holy 
spirit,  where  he  is  set  in  relation  to  Ahura  Mazdah,  becomes  a 
ministering  and  intermediary  spirit  of  Ahura  Mazdah,  like  Asha, 
Vohu  Manah,  and  the  rest ;  and  as  a  new  antithesis  there  arises 
Ahura  Mazdah  and  Angra  Mainyu.''  There  is  an  excellent  state 
ment  on  the  subject  by  Geiger,  cited  with  approval  by  Prof.  Jackson 
in  the  Grundrisa,  ii.  648.  I  have  given  it  in  English  in  ERPP, 
66  f.  See  also  Casartelli's  Mazdayamian  Religion  under  the  Sassanids 
(Bombay,  1899),  pp.  1-71  :  this  work  is  most  important  for  the 
period  following  that  to  which  these  Lectures  are  restricted. 


excellently  expressed  by  Geldner  in  Enc.  Brit.11 
xxviii.  1041  :  "The  Wise  Lord  ...  is  the  primeval 
spiritual  being,  the  All-father,  who  was  existent 
before  ever  the  world  arose.  .  .  .  His  guiding  spirit 
is  the  Holy  Spirit,  which  wills  the  good :  yet  it 
is  not  free,  but  restricted,  in  this  temporal  epoch, 
by  its  antagonist  and  own  twin  brother,  the  Evil 
Spirit.  ...  In  the  Gathas  the  Good  Spirit  of 
Mazdah  and  the  Evil  Spirit  are  the  two  great 
opposing  forces  in  the  world,  and  Ormazd  him 
self  is  to  a  certain  extent  placed  above  them  both. 
Later  the  Holy  Spirit  is  made  directly  equivalent  to 

Once  in  the  Gathas  we  find  an  epithet  used  for 
the  "  Bad  Spirit "  which,  though  to  all  appearance 
merely  casual,  was  destined  to  have  a  long  history. 
In  Ys  452  Zarathushtra  declares : 

I  will  tell  of  the  two  spirits  in  the  beginning  of  the 
world,  the  holier  of  whom  spake  thus  to  the  hostile : 
"  Neither  our  thoughts,  nor  our  doctrines,  nor  our  pur 
poses,  nor  our  convictions,  nor  our  words,  nor  our  works, 
nor  our  selves,  nor  our  souls  agree  together." 

The  word  angra,  rendered  "  hostile  " — or  etymologi- 
cally  "  fiend "  -  is  not  elsewhere  applied  to  the 
Evil  Spirit  in  the  Gathas,1  and  it  is  used  of  human 

1  Prof.  Jackson  (Grundriss,  ii.  650)  says  that  in  the  Gathas  "  the 
name  of  the  evil  spirit,  mainyu,  with  the  epithet  angra,  occurs  only 
three  or  four  times.''  He  gives  as  references  Ys  452,  4412,  and  as 
a  general  adjective  4315,  also  dat.  sing.  fern,  [or  adverb]  angrayd, 
4810.  In  4412,  Bartholomae  is  right,  I  think,  in  making  angro  a 
human  enemy:  see  however  p.  137  n.  The  other  two  occurrences 
of  the  adjective  could  not  possibly  apply  to  Ahriman,  so  that  the 
total  is  reduced  to  one  after  all.  Reference  should  be  made  to 
Prof.  Jackson's  article  "  Ahriman  "  in  ERE,  i.  237. 


enemies  or  evil  men :  clearly  it  has  not  begun  to 
be  a  title  in  any  sense.  There  would  be  quite  as 
much  reason  for  isolating  Ako  Mainyus  as  Zara- 
thushtra's  name  for  him,  for  "the  Bad  Spirit"  also 
occurs  once  (Ys  325 — q.v.},  and  there  is  another  place 
( Ys  303,  quoted  above)  where  "  the  Bad "  (neuter) 
stands  in  apposition.  It  seems  extremely  probable 
that  Zarathushtra's  successors  took  up  this  casual 
epithet  and  created  the  proper  name  of  the  Iranian 
evil  spirit.  Their  choice  may  have  been  partly  deter 
mined  by  a  collocation  found  on  Darius's  Inscrip 
tion,  probably  reflecting  there  an  association  already 
fixed.  Darius  tells  us1  that  Mazdah  blessed  and 
advanced  him  "  because  I  was  not  an  enemy  nor 
a  deceiver"  (naiy  arika  naiy  draujana  aham}.  The 
first  word  (  =  ah?i-ha)  is  identical  with  the  Gathic 
angra  (Aryan  *asrd),  with  an  adjective  suffix  added ; 
the  second  is  derived  from  the  name  of  the  arch 
fiend,  Drauga,  "  the  Lie."  If  we  are  right  in 
regarding  Darius  as  the  first  really  Zoroastrian 
king,  we  may  take  this  passage  as  evidence  that 
the  two  words  were  already  related  in  the  vocabulary 
of  religion.  Darius,  perhaps,  cannot  be  said  to 
have  used  a  phrase  which  we  should  translate 
"  because  I  was  not  a  follower  of  Ahriman  and  the 
Druj " ;  but  he  does  not  fall  far  short.  When 
once  the  title  was  appropriated,  it  became  a  fixed 
and  permanent  name,  entirely  ousting  the  Druj 
from  place  of  power,  so  that  in  the  Later  Avesta 
she  becomes  only  an  ordinary  fiend.  This  crystal 
lising  process  seems  to  me  very  clearly  the  work 
of  the  Magi,  who  needed  a  title  that  could  claim 

1  Bh  413. 


Zarathushtra's  authority  for   a   devil  very  different 
in  many  respects  from  his  concept.1 

But  we  must  keep  for  the  present  to  Zarathushtra 
himself,  and  see  how  he  marshalled  the  hosts  that 
ranged  themselves  for  the  great  conflict,  on  the 
side  of  Right  and  of  Wrong.  He  emphasises  from 
the  first  that  it  was  a  matter  of  free  choice.  The 
stanza  quoted  above  (Ys  303),  which  tells  us  of 
the  Twin  Spirits,  closes  with  the  statement  that 
the  understanding  chose  the  one  and  those  void  of 
understanding  the  other.  These  adjectives  (hudavko, 
duzdavho)  are  used  of  the  heavenly  and  infernal 
spirits  as  well  as  of  men,  but  the  latter  are  no 
doubt  intended  here.  The  antithesis  of  wisdom 
and  folly  is  wholly  ethical,  as  in  the  Sapiential 
Books  of  the  Old  Testament.  After  stating  that 
those  men  who  would  please  Ahura  made  the  wrise 
choice,  the  poet  goes  on  to  say  that  the  Daeva 
chose  "  the  Worst  Thought "  after  taking  counsel 
together,  for  infatuation  came  upon  them.  There 
is  a  clear  remembrance  here  that  the  Daeva  were 
once  divine  spirits,  whose  deliberate  choice  trans- 

1  Dr  Casartelli  writes  to  me  thus  (May  30,  1913) : — "  As  regards 
Angro-M.  in  the  Gathas,  I  am  much  impressed  by  Ys  4412,  with  its 
curious  Anro-Angro,  and  its  jeu  de  mots.  As  I  take  it,  I  read  : 
'  Quis  sanctus  [inter  illos]  quibuscum  loquor,  quisve  scelestus  ?  Ad 
quern  [adhaeret]  Impius  [Spiritus]  ?  Vel  ille-ne  Malus  [Spiritus 
ipse  est]  qui,  mihi  infensus,  Tuas  benedictiones  impetit  ?  Quomodo 
ille  non-[sit]  ?  Ipse  [enim]  mala  cogitat  [to  keep  the  word 
play,  we  should  have  to  substitute  fspirat']' — i.e.,  is  not  my 
opponent,  who  attacks  thy  teaching,  '  the  very  devil  himself,' 
as  we  might  say  ?  The  play  on  Ahro  [Mainyus  ?]  and  ahro 
mainyete  seems  to  suggest  itself.  The  difference  between  angro 
and  anro  requires  more  elucidation.  I  fancy  there  is  a  good  deal 
behind  it  all." 


ferred  them  to  the  world  of  evil.  One  passage  in 
Ys  32  may  be  specially  recalled,  to  show  how 
fresh  and  keen  was  the  feeling  that  connected  the 
Daevas  with  their  nomadic  worshippers,  true 
ancestors  of  the  savage  Kurds  of  to-day.  Zara- 
thushtra  (I.3'4)  fiercely  attacks  them  as  "seed  of 
Bad  Thought,  of  the  Lie,  and  of  Arrogance,"  and 
their  followers  are  as  bad.  They  have  "  long  been 
known  by  [their]  deeds  in  the  seventh  Kar&uar  of 
the  earth,"  the  habitable  abode  of  men : 

For  ye  have  brought  it  to  pass  that  men  who  do  the 
worst  things  shall  be  called  "  beloved  of  the  Daevas." 

An  old  Vedic  compound,  devdjusta  (Gathic  daevo- 
zuxta),  is  here  suggestive  of  the  manner  in  which 
the  old  gods  fell  from  their  high  estate.  It  was 
the  term  used  by  these  robber  hordes  of  themselves 
as  they  commended  their  raids  to  heaven  for  the 
success  they  asked  of  their  patrons  there.  No 
wonder  their  victims  charged  upon  these  divinities 
the  wrongs  their  votaries  inflicted. 

The  Daeva  are  of  course  by  their  name  the  Indo- 
European  *deivos,  known  by  this  title  from  east  to 
furthest  west  of  our  speech  area.1  A  recent  sensa 
tional  discovery  shows  us  the  names  of  their  chiefs, 
as  worshipped  by  Aryans  of  some  kind  as  far  north 
as  Cappadocia  in  the  fourteenth  century  B.C.  I  deal 

1  Skt  devd,  Lat.  deus  and  divos,  Lith.  dcvas,  Old  Icel.  (pi.)  tivar  (cf. 
Tuesday),  Old  Ir.  did,  etc.  From  a  derivative  adjective,  with 
weakened  root,  which  makes  it  equally  derivable  from  *di/eus  (Zevs 
Dies-piter,  etc.),  comes  Stos,  Lat.  dius,  Skt  divyd.  The  unrelated 
0eds  (orig.  meaning  " ghost'')  took  on  many  of  the  functions  of 
*deivos.  It  may  be  observed  in  passing  that  Stos  aWr/p  comes  very 
near  to  Mithra. 



with  this  matter  elsewhere  (p.  5-7) ;  and  here  only 
observe  that  if  the  Mitanni  inscription  is  surprisingly 
north  of  India,  it  is  no  less  surprisingly  west  of  Iran. 
We  have  no  other  Iranian  evidence  for  Varuna ;  and 
the  footing  of  the  demons  Indra  and  NtwkaiOya 
(Nasatyau  in  Sanskrit,  the  "Heavenly  Twins")  in 
the  A  vesta  is  so  late  and  uncertain  that  we  suspected 
(p.  115)  a  reimportation,  through  anti-Hindu  polemic, 
rather  than  survival.  But  the  remaining  name  from 
Boghaz-keui  is  that  of  Mithra,  and  we  do  not  need 
evidence  that  he  was  worshipped  everywhere  in  Iran 
—except  where  Zarathushtra  had  his  way !  That 
Mithra  was  in  Aryan  times  the  twin  of  Varuna  has 
been  already  explained  (p.  61) ;  and  I  have  noted  the 
question  whether  this  does  not  mean  that  Ahura  is 
the  Pollux  of  these  Dioscuri  in  Iran,  and  Mithra 
the  mortal  Castor.  The  total  eclipse  of  the  latter  in 
the  Gathas  and  Achasmenian  Inscriptions,  until  his 
sudden  reappearance  under  Artaxerxes  Mnemon,  is 
no  accident.  Tiele  rightly  declares1  that  Zara 
thushtra  cannot  have  been  unacquainted  with  him. 
With  the  suggestion  that  he  was  too  warlike  for 
the  Prophet  I  quite  agree ;  but  I  should  not  add 
"aristocratic,"  for  Mazdah  himself  decidedly  claims 
this  adjective,  as  we  have  seen  (p.  60).  The  fact 
seems  to  be  that  Mithra  had  two  sides,  answering  to 
the  character  of  different  classes  of  worshippers.  On 
one  side  he  was,  as  we  saw  (p.  63  f.),  pre-eminently 
the  god  of  Compacts,  an  exceedingly  ethical  deity 
of  whom  Zarathushtra  need  not  have  been  ashamed. 
When  the  now  dominant  Magi  restored  him,  wisely 
recognising  the  fact  that  the  people  had  never  given 

1  Religions oesch.,  241. 


up  his  cult,  it  was  exclusively  his  nobler  side  that 
was  preserved,  as  already  pictured  in  the  Yasht  that 
bears  his  name.  But  Mithra  was  not  only  Dius 
Fidius.  Whatever  the  origin  of  the  duality,  he  was 
also  on  the  way  to  the  Sol  Invictus  of  Mithraism,  and 
in  the  character  of  a  mighty  warrior  was  adored  by 
robber  hordes  who  had  no  use  for  a  god  of  good  faith. 
It  was  in  this  capacity,  I  take  it,  that  Zarathushtra 
knew  him  best.  He  was  one  of  the  divinities  "  for 
whose  sake  the  Karapan  and  the  Usij  gave  the  cattle 
to  violence."  1  No  wonder,  then,  if  Zarathushtra  trans 
ferred  to  his  shadowy  Asha  the  patronage  of  Truth 
and  Justice  which  Mithra  seemed  to  have  abjured 
under  an  "  infatuation,"  to  "  rush  off  into  violence  " 
and  take  the  part  of  the  evil  power. 

We  may  also  bring  in,  I  think,  the  powerful 
attraction  of  monotheism  upon  the  Prophet's  mind. 
The  great  Ahura  of  Wisdom,  who  had  been  enthroned 
perhaps  for  generations  in  his  own  aristocratic  clan, 
seemed  to  leave  no  room  for  a  second,  not  to  speak 
of  an  equal :  all  functions  and  attributes  of  deity  met 
within  his  personality,  and  other  "  Lords  "  were  only 
a  part  of  himself.  Mithra  held  too  great  a  place  in 
the  popular  theology  to  be  reduced  to  a  mere  attribute 
of  Mazdah.  He  must  therefore  go.  In  no  Gatha 
that  the  priests  have  preserved  for  us  is  Mithra  named 
or  hinted  at.  If  even  a  fairly  definite  allusion  had 
occurred,  like  one  or  two  stern  references  to  the 
drunkenness  which  hurled  the  followers  of  another 

1  Ys  4420.  Karapan  (akin  to  Skt  kalpa,  "rite")  is  a  teacher  or 
priest  hostile  to  the  Mazdayasna.  Usij  (Skt  tifij)  seems  to  have 
meant  nearly  the  same.  Both  names,  associated  inseparably  with 
the  deva-daeva  cultus,  have  shared  its  degeneration. 


daiva,  Haoma,  against  Zarathushtra's  long-suffering 
agriculturists,  we  may  well  doubt  whether  the 
hymn  containing  it  would  have  kept  its  place  in  the 
yasna  of  a  later  day.  But  I  cannot  resist  the  con 
clusion  that  Mithra  does  come  under  the  Prophet's 
ban,  as  a  member  of  the  Iranian  pantheon  which 
he  dethroned  because  it  had  proved  itself  ethically 
unequal  to  the  demand  his  own  conscience  made 
upon  the  conception  of  God.1 

In  this  way,  we  may  suppose,  the  cleavage  between 
Mazdayasna  and  daevayasna  came  into  being.  The 
Gathas  are  full  of  the  signs  of  a  great  conflict. 
Chieftains  and  priests  or  teachers  are  named  who 
vehemently  flung  themselves  against  the  heresy 
that  thus  outraged  the  old  gods.  A  time  of  failure 
and  persecution  leaves  its  record  in  the  despairing 
cry  of  Ys  46.  Neither  high  nor  low  will  own  the 

1  I  ought  to  point  out  that  my  view  of  Mithra  in  Zarathushtra's 
thought  goes  very  little  beyond  that  of  our  two  leading  German 
Iranists.  Geldner  says  (Enc.  Brit.11  xxviii.  1041)  :  "  Other  powers  of 
light,  such  as  Mitra  the  god  of  day  (Iranian  Mithra),  survived 
unforgotten  in  popular  belief  till  the  later  system  incorporated 
them  in  the  angelic  body.  The  authentic  doctrine  of  the  Gathas 
had  no  room  either  for  the  cult  of  Mithra  or  for  that  of  the  Haoma." 
Bartholomae  (AirWb,  1 185)  says  the  same  :  "  Ich  nehme  an,  dass  M. 
in  der  strengsaraflw^rischen  Lehre  als  Gottheit  nicht  anerkannt 
war,  ebenso  wenig  wie  z.  B.  Haoma.  Da  aber  der  Glaube  an  M.  im 
Volke  zu  fest  wurzelte,  waren  die  Priester  spaterhin  genotigt,  seine 
Verehrung  zuzulassen."  Mithra,  then,  did  not  belong  to  the 
Mazdayasna :  must  he  not  fall  to  the  daevayasna  ?  Or  are  we  to 
father  on  Zarathushtra  the  system  described  by  Plutarch  (p.  399, 
below),  by  which  Mithra  becomes  an  "intermediary"  (//.eo-tTT/s) 
between  Light  and  Darkness,  dwelling  as  it  were  in  the  Hamistakdn 
limbo  ?  I  think  my  alternative  is  simpler,  and  its  difficulty  is  re 
duced  by  recognising  a  better  and  a  baser  side  in  the  conception 
of  Mithra.  Imagine  Zarathushtra  assisting  at  a  taurobolium  \ 


Prophet,  and  the  rulers  of  the  land  follow  the  Lie :  he 
has  but  few  cattle  and  few  folk.  But  at  last  the  tide 
turned  with  the  conversion  of  Vishtaspa  and  his 
nobles,  and  Zarathushtra  can  concentrate  on  his 


missionary  work  among  the  misguided  people  who 
would  not  accept  the  Reform.  His  triumph  within 
his  own  lifetime  was  probably  limited  to  aristocratic 
circles,  unless  we  may  believe  that  he  won  over  the 
farmers  and  graziers  in  whose  interests  he  spoke  so 
constantly.  "  The  ruder  daeva-cult  [held]  its  ground 
among  the  uncivilised  nomad  tribes,"  says  Geldner ; 
and  as  the  Yashts  abundantly  show,  the  divinities 
included  in  it  were  soon  installed  as  angels  in 
the  Mazdayasna,  under  sanction  of  Zarathushtra's 
authority,  and  with  nothing  sacrificed  except  their 
collective  name.  So  hard  is  it  to  reform  a  religion ! 
The  gods  of  polytheism  may  be  cast  down  to  hell ; 
but  they  need  only  change  their  designation  to  be 
back  in  heaven  again,  with  a  new  colleague  in  the 
very  Prophet  who  had  protested  so  strenuously  in  his 
lifetime  that  God  is  One  ! 

From  the  doctrine  of  spiritual  powers  that  originate 
and  perpetuate  evil  we  turn  in  due  course  to  ask 
what  Zarathushtra  understood  evil  to  be.  Naturally 
"  the  Lie  "  came  first.  False  and  degrading  views  of 
God,  and  of  what  God  demands  from  man,  were  to 
his  profound  and  yet  intensely  practical  mind  the 
darkest  of  sins,  because  of  what  they  produced.  A 
religion  that  made  Truth  its  centre  could  not  be 
content  with  requirements  touching  only  the  exter 
nals  of  life.  The  triad  of  Thought,  Word,  Deed  is 
perpetual  in  the  Gathas,  and  holds  its  own  through 
out  the  history  of  Zoroastrianism.  Darmesteter  ( OA 


p.  8  ff.)  insisted  upon  the  close  parallelism  between 
the  Avestan  triad  (humata,  hu-^ta,  hvarsta]  and  three 
Vedic  terms  (sumati,  sukta,  sukfta},  two  of  which  are 
verbally  identical l  and  all  identical  in  literal  meaning, 
"good  thought,  good  word,  good  deed."  Now  the 
Vedic  words  are,  as  Darmesteter  goes  on  to  show, 
purely  ceremonial  :  they  mean  respectively  prayer, 
hymn,  and  sacrifice.  He  argues  that  in  the  prehistoric 
Aryan  their  equivalents — which  were,  however,  not 
brought  into  close  relation  outside  the  Iranian  area — 
had  a  similar  liturgical  meaning  and  retained  it  in  the 
Avesta.  If  it  were  not  for  the  Gathas,  this  would  be 
fairly  plausible  :  it  is  at  least  not  incongruous  in  the 
later  Avesta.  But  the  whole  atmosphere  of  their 
author's  thought  seems  alien  to  any  such  develop 
ment.  It  is  the  association  of  the  three  that  makes 
them  so  important,  and  this  is  admittedly  Iranian, 
and  may  be  safely  set  down  to  Zarathushtra,  in 
whose  use  of  the  triad  there  is  absolutely  nothing  to 
suggest  that  it  has  hardened  into  mere  ritual.  What 
are  we  to  make  of  the  antithetic  triad  of  ill  thoughts, 
ill  words,  ill  deeds,  or  the  neutral  with  no  qualifica 
tion  (manah,  vacah,  syaoQna]  ?  We  must  follow  the 
simple  and  obvious  interpretation,  and  note  that 
Zarathushtra  made  good  and  evil  alike  to  be  functions 
of  the  three  parts  of  human  life.  Right  thoughts  of 
God  and  duty,  right  words  to  comrades  in  the  faith, 
right  actions,  which  meant  mostly  the  zealous  per 
formance  of  a  farmer's  varied  work — such  were  the 
virtues  which  were  destined  to  give  the  follower  of 
Asha  a  happy  passage  over  the  Bridge  of  Doom  into 

1  Though  for  this  purpose  it  is  not  indifferent  that  sumati  and 
humata  are  in  distinct  declensions. 


the  House  of  Song.  And  even  so  the  guilt  of  heresy, 
lying,  or  cruel  words  to  the  faithful,  deeds  of  oppres 
sion  or  lust  or  blood,  weighted  the  scale  against  the 
soul  at  judgement. 

I  have  let  fall  a  phrase  the  expansion  of  which 
belongs  to  my  next  Lecture ;  but  there  is  an  application 
of  it  which  is  in  place  here.  What  provision  does 
Zarathushtra  make  for  the  annulling  of  sin  ?  The 
answer  appears  to  be  that  there  is  none,  except  the 
piling  up  of  a  credit  balance  of  good  thoughts,  words, 
and  actions.  If  a  sinner  turns  from  his  evil  way  and 
does  what  is  just  and  right,  he  shall  save  his  soul 
alive — if  he  can  crowd  into  the  rest  of  his  life  merit 
enough  to  outweigh  his  sin.1  And  if  a  righteous  man 
falls  into  evil  ways,  his  future  will  depend  on  the  time 
he  spends  in  accumulating  liabilities.  Zarathushtra's 
practical  mind  was  so  concentrated  on  the  supreme 
importance  of  securing  right  conduct  that  he  did  not 
discover  the  superior  importance  of  character  as  the 
fount  of  conduct.  But  the  fact  that  we  can  detect 
shortcomings  in  his  system  will  not  blind  us  to  the 
immense  step  he  took  when  he  taught  that  God 
is  pleased  not  by  futile  offerings  but  by  practical 
benevolence  and  a  life  unspotted  by  the  world. 

Zarathushtra's  ideals  in  ethics  and  religion  can  be 
illustrated  by  an  examination  of  the  two  adjectives 
which  everywhere  sum  up  all  that  is  good.  The 
epithet  which  belongs  peculiarly  to  Mazdah  and  his 
associate  spirits  is  spanta,  usually  rendered  "holy," 

1  The  similar  procedure  in  Persian  jurisprudence  should  be 
recalled :  a  man  accused  of  a  crime  was  (at  least  in  theory)  judged 
by  his  whole  record,  and  if  his  merits  outweighed  his  crime  he  was 
acquitted.  See  Herodotus  i.  137  (p.  397  below). 


and  often  found  in  comparative  and  superlative  degree 
(spanyah,  spdniSta).  It  is  found  in  the  Gathas  applied 
to  Mazdah  himself,  to  his  Spirit,  to  Aramaiti,  and  to 
pious  men.  In  the  Haptanghaiti  first  appears  the 
specific  title  "  holy  immortals  "  (amdsa  spdnta],  which 
became  the  ordinary  name  of  the  Six  Spirits  of 
Mazdah.  The  exact  connotation  of  spdnta  has  been 
a  subject  of  debate.  Its  historical  identity  with  the 
Lithuanian  szvcntas,  "  holy,"  cannot  be  questioned, 
nor  the  relation  of  them  both  to  Gothic  /mnsl, 
"sacrifice,"  Old  English  husel  (Shakespeare's  un- 
houseled}.  But  there  is  believed  to  be  some  ground 
from  Parsi  tradition  for  regarding  "  beneficent "  as 
nearer  the  meaning  in  the  Avesta.  It  may  have 
arisen  from  association  with  another  verb  meaning 
"  to  benefit," l  which  in  its  present  stem  sounds  very 
much  like  it :  there  is  actually  a  Gathic  verse  ( Ys 
5121,  see  p.  387)  where  we  find  sponto  .  .  .  asomspdnvat, 
"a  holy  man  .  .  .  advances  Right."  Bartholornae,  who 
stoutly  defends  "  holy,"  regards  this  as  an  intentional 
paronomasia.  I  should  prefer  to  think  of  a  popular 
etymology  helping  to  colour  the  sense  of  the  word. 
But,  even  apart  from  this,  the  tendency  of  thought 
was  strong  enough  to  make  the  idea  of  ritual  holiness 
or  purity  pass  quickly  out  of  sight  in  favour  of  the 
practical  and  ethical  connotation.2  The  antithesis  of 
sponta  is  angra  in  the  notable  verse  already  quoted  ; 
and  Bartholomae,  whom  we  find  inventing  a  new 
word  on  occasion  to  improve  an  antithesis,3  ought  to 

1  Sav,  whence  the  future  participle  saosyant. 

2  Dr  Casartelli  compares  the  development  of  a  moral  meaning 
in  French  sage,  originally  only  "  one  who  knows." 

3  See  Ys  30\  below  (p.  34,9  f.). 



appreciate  our  argument  that  "  holier  "  and  "  hostile" 
are  not  sufficiently  in  the  same  plane.  His  objec 
tion  (AirWb.,  1621)  largely  rests  on  the  assumption 
that  we  cannot  accept  the  meaning  "  beneficent " 
for  the  Avestan  word  without  cutting  it  off  from  its 
cognates  in  Lithuanian,  Slavonic,  and  Germanic.  I 
do  not  see  that  the  consequence  is  necessary :  we 
have  only  to  suppose  the  connotation  of  an  Iranian 
word  for  "  holy  "  altered  towards  "  beneficent,"  partly 
by  popular  etymology,  and  partly  by  the  practical 
bent  of  Zarathushtra's  mind  and  teaching. 

I  have  already  dealt  with  the  central  conception  of 
Asha,  "  Right,"  and  therefore  may  only  mention  here 
the  fact  that  a  good  man  is  pre-eminently  described 
as  asavan,  "  one  who  has  Asha."  The  epithet  is  used 
of  the  heavenly  world  as  well.  The  man  after  Zara 
thushtra's  heart  is  he  who  holds  Truth  in  thought  and 
word  and  deed,  the  man  of  right  belief,  right  speech, 
and  right  action,  in  opposition  to  the  "man  of  the  Lie." 
The  title  is  on  the  same  lines  as  those  just  suggested  for 
"  holiness."  For  all  the  profundity  of  Zarathushtra's 
thinking— and  it  is  perhaps  mainly  this  which  has  made 
it  hard  for  a  few  great  scholars  to  put  his  date  back 
as  far  as  seems  necessary — he  was  intensely  alive  to 
the  practical  realities  of  life  ;  and  there  was  a  singular 
absence  of  the  mystical  element  about  his  teaching. 
A  little  more  of  it  might  perhaps  have  helped  his  re 
ligion  to  secure  a  much  larger  part  in  human  history. 

A  more  conspicuous  absence  is  that  of  asceticism, 
which  cuts  him  off  strikingly  from  spiritual  kinship 
with  India — where,  by  the  way,  we  may  well  believe 
that  our  Aryan  blood  was  not  responsible  for  a 
phenomenon  safely  to  be  credited  to  the  indigenous 


population.  Zarathushtra  never  dreamed  of  any 
merit  in  celibacy.  One  of  his  Gathas  celebrates  the 
wedding  of  his  daughter,  and  he  was  himself  married 
more  than  once.  The  Vendidad  was  quite  in  his 
spirit  when  it  declared  (447  f.)  that  the  married  is  far 
above  the  celibate,  the  man  with  children  above  him 
who  has  none,  the  man  who  eats  meat  above  him  who 
fasts.  We  are  told  how  the  Sassanian  king  Ya/dgard 
was  indignant  at  the  contrast  between  the  sanity  of 
Parsism  and  the  morbid  tendencies  of  a  Christianity 
which  had  largely  forgotten  the  Gospels.1  No 
speculative  Gnosticism  in  Zarathushtra's  dogmatics 
taught  the  inherent  evil  of  matter.  This  is  the  more 
significant  in  that,  as  Prof.  Soderblom  well  points 
out,2  there  is  a  strongly  marked  dualism  of  matter 
and  spirit  visible  throughout  the  Avesta.  In  the 
Gathas  we  have  "this  life  here  of  body  and  that 
of  thought "  ( Ys  433) ;  and  the  antithesis  continues 
through  the  whole  series  of  Parsi  scriptures.  But  we 
find  that  the  division  of  the  world  between  good  and 
evil  cuts  right  across  the  other  division.  In  the 
Yashts  we  read  of  "  spiritual  and  corporeal  yazata  "  ; 
and  we  find  that  "  Azhi  Dahaka  is  in  the  corporeal 
world  the  representative  of  Angra  Mainyu  who  is  by 
nature  mainyava,  'spiritual.'"3  So  in  the  Vendidad 
(831)  we  find  the  question  asked : 

Who   is  absolutely  a   daeva  ?     Who  is  before   death  a 
daeva  ?     Who  changes  after  death  into  a  spiritual  daeva  ? 

(The  answer  is  the  human  being  who  has  practised 

1  See  Darmesteter,  SEE,  iv.2  46  n.  On  the  strong  anti-ascetic 
tendency  in  all  ages  of  Parsism  see  Prof.  Soderblom's  excellent 
article  in  ERE,  ii.  105  f.  2  Les  Fravas/iis,  p.  60  f. 

3  Soderblom,  op.  cit.,  6l  ;  see  references  in  his  notes. 


unnatural  vice.)  The  contrast  between  this  and  the 
Greek  dualism,  with  its  tendency  to  make  the  two 
categories  coincide,  and  the  Judaic  antithesis  of  the 
present  and  the  future,  is  of  great  importance  when 
we  examine  the  relations  between  these  independent 
systems  of  thought.  Zarathushtra's  position  here  is, 
of  course,  most  important  for  his  fixing  of  the  rules 
of  conduct,  as  we  saw  just  now.  Every  creature  of 
the  Wise  Lord  was  good,  and  nothing  to  be  rejected : 
that  alone  was  evil  which  was  created  by  his  foe. 

I  have  used  the  word  "  dualism,"  though,  as  we 
saw  above  (p.  125  f.),  it  is  not  strictly  applicable  to 
Zarathushtra's  Doctrine  of  Evil.  The  optimist  out 
look  which  assured  men  of  the  ultimate  triumph  of 
Good  will  be  the  chief  subject  of  the  next  Lecture. 
Meanwhile  we  have  to  go  back  to  the  beginning  of 
things,  and  ask  how  Sin  entered  the  world,  bringing 
death  and  all  our  woe.  One  all  too  brief  verse  in  the 
Gathas  tells  us  of  the  Fall.  It  would  seem  that  here 
Zarathushtra  made  use  of  an  old  Iranian  folk-story, 
adapting  it  to  his  own  doctrinal  purpose,  much  as  the 
author  of  the  third  chapter  of  Genesis  is  usually  sup 
posed  to  have  done.  In  Ys  32s  Zarathushtra  says : 

To  these  sinners  belonged,  'tis  said,  Yima  also,  son  of 
Vivahvant,  who,  desiring  to  satisfy  mortals,  gave  our  people 
portions  of  beef  to  eat. 

Three  stanzas  before  this  the  Daevas  are  said  to 
have  "  defrauded  men  of  good  life  and  immortality." 
Yima,  the  Indian  Yama,  seems  to  have  been  in  the 
Aryan  period  the  first  man,  though  in  the  sagas  of 
later  Parsism  he  was  apparently  deprived  of  this 
primacy.  His  own  name  probably  means  "  twin,"  and 
he  is  a  "  son  of  the  sky,"  as  twins  often  are  in  folk- 


lore ;  for  his  father's  name  ("  shining  abroad ")  is 
clearly  a  cult-epithet  of  the  bright  sky.  To  render 
his  subjects  immortal  he  gave  them  to  eat  forbidden 
food,  being  deceived  by  the  Daevas.  Bartholomae 
(AirWb.,  1866)  quotes  Pahlavi  tradition  that  Yima 
made  them  immortal  during  his  reign  by  giving  them 
flesh.  If  that  is  an  independent  form  of  an  old 
Iranian  story,  Zarathushtra  has  significantly  brought 
in  a  moral  judgement  against  an  act  not  reprobated  in 
the  myth  that  came  to  him.  To  snatch  immortality 
before  Mazdah's  own  good  time  was  sin.  This  is  a 
very  striking  development.  It  is  noteworthy  that 
Firdausi  makes  Yima's  sin  consist  in  his  pretending 
to  be  a  god.  The  connexion  of  this  grasping  at 
immortality  with  the  eating  of  forbidden  food  suggests 
a  reference  to  the  belief  that  at  the  Regeneration 
Mithra  is  to  make  men  immortal  by  giving  them  to 
eat  the  fat  of  the  primeval  Ox  or  Cow  from  whose 
slain  body,  according  to  the  Aryan  myths  adopted 
by  Mithraism,  mankind  was  first  created.  The 
Gathic  stanzas  imply  seemingly  that  the  act  was  one 
of  sinful  presumption,  inspired  by  the  Daevas — and 
especially  by  Mithra  himself,  if  my  view  of  him  is 
justified — and  that  the  demons  who  tempted  him  to 
the  act  defrauded  men  of  its  expected  consequence. 
The  Later  Avesta,  which  makes  Yima's  sin  consist 
in  yielding  to  lies,  describes  his  punishment  as  the 
loss  of  the  Kingly  Glory.  In  its  three  forms — those 
of  the  priest,  the  warrior,  and  the  labourer — it  succes 
sively  fled  from  him  (Yt  1934  ff.)  in  the  form  of  a  bird. 

When  he  saw  the  Glory  vanish, 
Yima  Khshaeta,  noble  shepherd, 
Rushed  he  round  distraught,  and  smitten 
By  his  foes  on  earth  he  laid  him. 


He  became  a  wanderer  on  the  face  of  the  earth,  and 
was  at  last  sawn  asunder  by  his  wicked  brother 
Spityura.  The  relations  between  this  Fall-story  and 
that  in  Genesis  will  occupy  our  attention  later.  It 
is  unfortunate  that  we  have  so  brief  and  obscure 
accounts  of  a  doctrine  which  to  all  appearance  had 
high  ethical  value.1 

We  must  pass  on  to  deal  rather  succinctly  with  the 
doctrine  of  evil  found  in  the  Later  Avesta,  and  the 
ethics  resulting  from  it.  The  purely  Iranian  stratum 
contributes  relatively  little.  Prof.  Otto  Schrader 
well  remarks 2  that  the  "  heavenly  ones "  of  Indo- 
European  religion  had  less  to  do  with  morality  than 
the  ancestor  spirits.  They  were  the  Sondergotter  of 
spheres  far  less  concerned  with  human  action  than 
were  the  spirits  of  men's  ancestors  that  always  hovered 
within  range.  We  are  prepared  to  believe  that  the 
deva-daeva  worship  was  on  a  lower  plane  morally 
than  that  of  the  asura-ahura,  which  originated  in  the 
ancestor  cult ;  and,  as  we  have  seen,  it  is  essentially 
the  dacvayasna  that  inspires  the  Yashts,  though  the 
name  has  departed  from  the  yazata  who  are  honoured 
there.  The  one  conspicuous  exception  to  the  rule 
is  Mithra.  The  complex  question  of  the  origin  and 
development  of  this  great  yuzata  is  discussed  else 
where.3  Here  I  will  only  point  out  that  the  higher 
ethical  features  of  M  ithra  have  been  collected  in  the 
Mithra  Yasht  so  as  to  present  a  divinity  who  might 

1  There  are  some  interesting  notes  in  Darmesteter,  LeZA,  ii.  624. 
He  cites  the  self-glorification  of  Yima  in  the  Shahnameh,  and  he 
gives  references  for  a  Talmudic  adaptation  of  the  story  for  King 

2  ERE,  ii.,  art.  "Aryan  Religion  " — noted  above,  p.  74. 

3  See  p.  62-67. 


be  worshipped  even  by  those  who  had  to  a  large  extent 
absorbed  Zarathushtra's  teaching.  His  ethical  nobility 
may  even  have  helped  the  return  of  his  associates, 
none  of  whom,  however,  can  be  said  to  share  it  to  any 
large  extent.  Mithra  stands  for  Truth  and  compact- 
keeping  between  men.  This  in  the  Gathas  is  in  the 
province  of  Asha  ;  but  we  can  hardly  wonder  that  so 
shadowy  an  abstraction  was  ousted  by  a  splendid 
figure  like  Mithra,  who  satisfied  the  craving  of 
humanity  for  a  god  that  could  come  within  man's 
sphere.  The  invincible,  unsleeping  divinity,  whom 
none  can  outwit  or  escape,  will  crush  the  man  who 
"  breaks  a  compact "  or  "  tries  to  deceive  Mithra  " :  — 
both  these  expressions  meet  in  the  original  miQro-druj, 
which  we  may  spell  with  large  or  small  initial  as  we 
please,  since  miOra  is  a  "  compact "  as  well  as  the  god 
who  protects  it.  This  is  an  element  quite  in  the 
Gathic  spirit,  heightening  our  suspicion  that  in  the 
Mithra  cult  of  the  A  vesta  the  Iranian  priests — who 
were  not  yet  the  Magi — deliberately  re-minted  the 
gold  there  was  in  the  old  worship,  in  strong  and 
intentional  opposition  to  that  crude  and  barbaric 
mythology  which  was  afterwards  to  develop  into 
Mithraism  as  we  know  it.  But  we  must  postpone 
speculation.  It  suffices  here  to  note  that  the  universal 
duty  of  Truth  covers  the  very  heretic — an  ethical 
advance  even  on  the  Gathas.  The  hymn  opens  with 
a  fine  stanza  which  1  may  repeat  here : 1— 

Spitama,  break  not  the  promise  2 
Made  with  sinner,  made  with  faithful 
Comrade  in  thy  Law,  for  Mithra 
Stands  for  sinner,  stands  for  faithful. 

1  From  ERPP,  137,  where  note  other  extracts  from  Yt  10. 

2  MiOrjm. 


The  contributions  of  the  Magian  stratum  to  the 
regulation  of  Parsi  conduct  are  very  abundant,  but 
they  cannot  be  said  to  add  much  of  any  value  to  the 
ethics  of  the  Gathas,  while  they  unmistakably  do  not 
a  little  to  spoil  their  high  ideal.  As  so  often  happens 
when  the  prophets  of  a  religion  give  place  to  priests, 
the  outward  and  ritual  side  of  it  is  exaggerated  till 
all  perspective  is  lost.  We  have  in  the  Vendidad 
passage  after  passage  where  sins  are  catalogued  with 
their  appropriate  penalties,  and  we  marvel  at  the 
triviality  of  those  that  get  the  hardest  measure.  It 
is  a  most  deadly  thing  if  a  man  who  cuts  his  hair  or 
nails  does  not  properly  dispose  of  the  cuttings  or 
parings.1  To  kill  a  water-dog  (otter)  deserves  ten 
thousand  stripes,  apparently  repeated  with  two 
instruments,  though  the  point  is  hardly  of  practical 
moment ;  and  if  the  sinner  survives  he  is  to  offer  ten 
thousand  libations,  kill  ten  thousand  land-frogs,  and 
do  sundry  other  acts  of  righteousness  which  would 
absorb  quite  a  large  proportion  of  his  time.  Offences 
against  ritual  and  against  moral  purity  are  treated  as  of 
about  equal  seriousness.  Against  this  we  have  the  fact 
that,  in  however  vague  and  onesided  a  way,  the  makers 
of  the  Vendidad  did  realise  the  possibility  of  repentance, 
atonement,  and  remission.  Dastur  Dhalla's  account 
of  the  Parsi  provision  for  expiation  and  atonement 2 
shows  clearly  enough  that  the  very  idea  of  it  does  not 
belong  to  the  "  Early  Zoroastrianism  "  with  which  I 
am  concerned  :  it  starts  with  the  latest  Avestan  texts 

1  A  very  interesting  and  primitive  tabu,  for  which  cf.  J.  G.  Frazer, 
Golden  Bough  3,  i.  57,  etc.    These  cuttings  were  capable  of  being  used 
against  their  former  owner  so  as  to  cause  him  grievous  harm. 

2  ERE,  v.  664-6. 


and  only  becomes  systematic  in  Sassanian  Parsism.1 
As  elsewhere  stated  (p.  144),  the  only  remedy  for 
sins  was  overweighting  them  with  merit.  The 
Magian  insistence  on  ritual  purity  included  the  stern 
denunciation  of  most  forms  of  sexual  vice,  though 
we  naturally  take  their  emphasis  on  the  next-of-kin 
marriage  as  a  serious  offset.  They  inculcated  industry 
with  excellent  decisiveness.  The  demon  of  Sloth, 
called  by  the  expressive  name  "Going-to-be,"2  is  to 
be  vigorously  abjured  when  she  keeps  men  abed  in 
the  morning.  Cruelty  to  animals  of  Ahura's  creation 
is  denounced  through  a  whole  gamut  of  possible 
variations.  Alms-giving  to  the  faithful  is  a  supremely 
great  virtue,  as  Parsis  have  well  shown  in  practice  to 
this  day.  It  is  a  pity  that  so  many  good  things 
should  be  overweighted  and  pushed  out  of  sight  by 
tiresome  and  foolish  ritual,  sometimes  nothing  less 
than  disgusting  —  that  prayer  should  harden  into 
mechanical  repetition  of  formulae — that  the  Gathas 
themselves,  still  chanted  in  a  dialect  obsolete  for  ages, 
should  have  sunk  into  mere  spells,  the  exact  pro 
nunciation  of  their  words  achieving  what  their  author 
sought  by  pure  life  and  diligence  in  an  honourable 
calling.  But,  after  all,  it  is  the  line  on  which  all 
religions  begin  the  downward  way,  and  Parsism 
never  lost  the  upward  look  and  the  striving  for 
better  things. 

1  A  hint  of  pardon  in  another  life  may  be  seen  in  Ys  5 14:  see 
note  there. 

2  Busyasta,  derived  from  the  future  participle  of  the  verb  "to  be." 



Each  man's  work  shall  be  made  manifest ;  for  the 
Day  shall  declare  it,  because  it  is  revealed  in  Fire. 
And  the  Fire  itself  shall  prove  each  man's  work  of 
what  sort  it  is.  PAUL. 

THE  later  stages  of  thought  in  Israel  before  the  rise 
of  Christianity  were  before  all  things  characterised 
by  the  growth  of  apocalyptic.  The  line  of  distinction 
between  apocalypse  and  prophecy  is  fairly  definite. 
Prophecy  is  concerned  with  the  will  of  God  for  the 
present  and  the  immediate  future.  In  apocalypse 
the  future  contemplated  belongs  to  another  order. 
This  present  world  inspires  too  little  hope  for  the 
kindling  of  high  religious  enthusiasm ;  and  the  faith 
of  men  who  fervently  believe  in  the  omnipotence  and 
the  perfect  justice  of  God  comforts  itself  by  the 
assurance  of  a  theodicy  beyond  the  veil  that  only 
death  can  draw  aside.  Israel's,  however,  was  not  the 
earliest  literature  to  develop  apocalyptic.  Without 
attempting  to  discuss  any  views  as  to  the  actual 
contact  of  two  systems  of  thought  and  the  influence 
of  one  upon  the  other,  we  may  note  the  fact  that 
centuries  before  the  earliest  Jewish  writings  of  this 
kind  Zarathushtra  was  expressing  in  difficult  but 
quite  unmistakable  language  the  conceptions  I  have 



described.  Pictorial  representation  of  a  future  soon 
to  be  realised,  though  not  in  this  world,  supplied  for 
him  constantly  the  inspiration  of  his  appeal  to  men 
that  they  should  choose  the  Right  and  resist  the  Lie, 
for  so  it  would  be  well  with  them  when  at  last  the 
justice  of  God  won  its  final  triumph. 

For  thus  we  must  begin,  linking  on  the  subject  of 
this  Lecture  with  the  last.  I  showed  that  if  Zara- 
thushtra's  doctrine  of  evil  is  fairly  called  dualistic  at 
all,  it  is  only  so  for  the  present  seon :  when  time  has 
run  its  appointed  course  the  powers  of  darkness  will 
be  broken,  and  broken  for  ever.  "  The  Kingdom ' 
will  come,  and  the  omnipotence  of  Right  will  be 
established,  no  more  to  be  challenged.  We  should 
note,  however,  that  the  reward  of  righteousness  is  not 
put  off  wholly  to  the  other  side  of  death.  There  is  a 
quaint  stanza  in  which  the  Prophet  asks  Ahura 
whether  in  this  life  he  will  attain  the  reward,  "  ten 
mares,  a  stallion,  and  a  camel,"  besides  Salvation  and 
Immortality  in  the  life  to  come.  For,  as  he  goes  on  to 
declare,  a  man  who  refuses  to  give  a  promised  reward 
to  one  who  has  earned  it  will  merit  punishment  here, 
as  well  as  hereafter  ( Ys  4418).  Similarly  he  promises 
( Ys  4619)  a  pair  of  cows  in  calf  to  him  who  deserves 
the  Future  Life.  We  may  probably  also  interpret 
on  the  same  line  the  declaration  in  Ys  3414  that  the 
reward  of  "  the  wisdom  that  exalts  communities " 
shall  be  given  by  the  Ahuras  "  to  the  bodily  life"  of  the 
pastoral  folk.  But  the  grim  facts  of  this  world  drove 
Zarathushtra  to  rely  mainly  on  the  Future,  however 
wistfully  he  may  pray  for  some  earnest  of  that  Future 
here  and  now.  Nothing  but  a  great  theodicy,  to 
come  in  God's  good  time,  will  adequately  compensate 


the  peaceful  and  pious  herdsman  for  all  that  he  has 
to  suffer  in  the  present  from  savage  raids  of  daeva- 
yasna.  We  may  take  it  as  fairly  clear  that  the  line 
along  which  Zarathushtra  came  to  his  conception  of 
a  better  world  was  that  of  a  powerful  conviction  of 
the  justice  of  God.  With  "  Right "  at  the  centre  of 
his  doctrine  of  the  Divine,  he  could  not  be  content 
with  a  world  in  which  Wrong  seemed  for  ever  on 
the  throne.  God  is  "  Lord "  and  God  is  "  Wise," 
omnipotent  and  omniscient,  and  He  can  never  be 
foiled  at  the  last  so  that  the  Right  Order  succumbs 
to  "  the  Lie."  Hence,  with  conditions  of  suffering 
and  wrong  all  round  him,  Zarathushtra  is  impelled 
to  moralise  the  conditions  of  another  world,  and 
teach  that  there  the  balance  will  be  redressed,  the 
righteous  made  happy  at  last,  and  the  violent  man 
finally  destroyed. 

I  must  recur  in  my  last  Lecture  to  the  importance 
of  recognising  the  forces  which  seem  to  have  led  the 
Iranian  Prophet  to  his  picture  of  justice  triumphant 
in  another  world — earliest  of  all  teachers  of  mankind 
to  bear  this  witness  of  God.  For  the  present  I  must 
keep  to  the  beaten  track,  and  delineate  the  details  of 
his  eschatological  system.  The  hope  of  the  good  man 
is  concentrated  essentially  on  the  coming  of  the 
Kingdom  (x^ctQra},  which  like  the  other  members  of 
the  great  Hexad  is  a  part  of  the  very  being  of  God. 
The  epithet  vairya,  "to  be  desired,"  which  became  a 
fixed  element  in  the  later  name  of  this  Amshaspand, 
crystallises  appropriately  the  attitude  of  Zarathushtra 
and  his  faithful  followers  towards  the  great  con 
summation  upon  which  all  their  longing  was  fixed. 
According  to  Prof.  Jackson's  highly  probable  con- 


jecture,  the  special  association  of  the  "  Kingdom " 
with  metals  arose  from  the  ayah  -^susta,  the  flood  of 
molten  metal  which  is  to  be  poured  forth  at  the  last. 
The  righteous — so  the  later  apocalyptists  put  it — 
would  pass  through  the  flood  as  through  warm  milk, 
but  Ahriman  and  all  who  were  "of  his  portion"1 
would  be  consumed.  It  does  not  appear,  however, 
that  in  Zarathushtra's  own  thought  the  annihilation 
of  evil  and  evil  beings  was  contemplated.  For  him 
the  "  House  of  the  Lie  "  is  to  be  the  permanent  abode 
of  those  who  choose  here  to  follow  the  Lie.  It  is 
only  in  later  Parsism  that,  after  the  purifying  flood 
has  passed  through  the  world, 

Hell  itself  will  pass  away, 
And  leave  her  dolorous  mansions  to  the  peering  day. 

Of  course  we  might  legitimately  conjecture  that 
here  the  later  eschatology  has  borrowed  from  lost 
Gathas.  Zarathushtra  is  not  in  the  least  bound 
to  have  been  rigidly  consistent — no  eschatological 
system  ever  was  or  could  be  consistent  and  logical. 
He  may  very  easily  have  portrayed  at  one  time 
the  wicked  destroyed  by  the  molten  flood,  and  the 
dreary  realm  of  Ahriman  purified  and  added  to 
the  Good  Creation ;  and  at  another,  without  any 
real  inconsistency,  have  declared  that  the  punish 
ment  of  sin  would  be  eternal.  In  the  nature  of 
things  both  annihilation  and  eternal  punishment 
would  be  symbols  of  profound  truths  on  which  the 
emphasis  is  laid  successively  without  an  attempt  to 
reconcile  them.  And  so  would  be  the  third  con 
ceivable  hypothesis,  that  evil  only  was  destroyed  and 
evil  beings  saved  as  through  fire.  But  how  far  the 
1  Wisdom  2™.  See  Bd  SO20  (SEE,  v.  126). 


Prophet  himself  wrestled  with  this  problem  we  have 
no  material  for  deciding.1 

Before  we  turn  to  the  future  of  the  individual,  we 
must  deal  with  Zarathushtra's  picture  of  the  world 
as  it  shall  be.  The  "  Consummation  " 2  of  the  Gathas 
involves  a  "Renovation  of  the  World,"3  a  divine 
event  towards  which  the  whole  creation  is  moving. 
It  is  accomplished  by  the  present  labours  of  "those 
that  will  deliver,"  the  saosyanto*  In  the  Gathas  these 
are  simply  Zarathushtra  himself  and  his  fellow- 
workers,  whom  the  Prophet's  faith  pictures  as  as 
suredly  leading  on  an  immediate  regeneration.  The 
superb  conviction  with  which  he  anticipates  that  very 
soon  he  himself  will  attend  his  faithful  followers  into 
the  presence  of  God  is  characteristic  of  his  whole 

1  It  is  on  these  lines  that  I  should  deal  with  Prof.  Soderblom's 
argument  (La  Fie  Future,  p.  243),  that  the  idea  of  the  ayah  ysusta,  as 
an  old  Indo-European  mythus  paralleled  in  Norse  and  Greek  saga, 
implies  the  purification  and  renewal  of  the  world,  so  that  there  is 
no  room  for  an  endless  hell.     But,  unless  I  am  very  much  astray  in 
my  whole  argument,  Zarathushtra  was  little  disposed  to  bind  himself 
to  ancient  mythology.     He  took  it  over  when  it  offered  symbolism 
he  could  use,  as  we  see  from  the  case  of  the  Bridge  and  the  weigh 
ing   of  souls.      But   he   was  always  ready  to  give  it  a  totally  new 
meaning.      It  is  thus  that  I    understand  the  figure  of  Cinvant,  as 
Zarathushtra's  own  addition  to  the  old  idea  of  the  Bridge.     Some 
thing  like  this,  I  imagine,  took  place  with  the  "  Molten  Metal." 
Zarathushtra  kept  the  idea,  but  there  was  no  necessity  for  him  to 
interpret  the  myth  in  any  stereotyped  fashion.     He  is  so  positive 
and  so  often  insistent  on  the  everlasting  torment  of  the  dragvato, 
that  the  mere  fact  of  an  earlier  meaning  for  the  ayah  ^susta — taken 
up  again  in  post-Zarathushtrian  ages,  as  so  often  happens — proves 
little  against  it.     I  am  half  inclined  to  conjecture  that  the  Metal 
was  for  him  an  ordeal,  whereby  the  Separator  did  his  work. 

2  Yah,  with  or  without  the  epithet  maz  or  mazista,  "great(est)." 

3  fraso-karati :  the  abstract  is  post-Gathic.    For  the  verb  cf.  Ys  SO9. 

4  Future  participle  of  sav,  "benefit"  :   cf.  p.  145. 


tone  in  proclaiming  future  destiny.  Violence  and 
wrong  may  hold  carnival  around  him  now  ;  but  never 
does  his  eye  lose  the  vision  of  a  new  heaven  and  a 
new  earth  in  which  Right  shall  dwell  for  evermore. 
It  only  enhances  the  picture  when  we  note  the  very 
human  wistfulness  with  which  he  asks  whether  the 
men  of  Right  will  not  win  their  victory  before  then 
(K?  482).  In  any  case  the  time  is  not  to  be  long. 
He  hears  Mazdah  bid  him  speed  his  work,  for  soon 
the  end  is  coming  and  the  awards  of  Right  will  be 
dealt  out  to  good  men  and  evil  (Ys  4312). 

Zarathushtra  was  not  destined  to  see  in  this  life 
the  fulfilment  of  his  great  hope.  We  may  digress 
for  a  moment  to  notice  what  happened  to  his  doctrine 
generations  after  his  death,  when  his  glowing  promises 
seemed  to  be  mocked  by  the  continuance  of  the 
present  evil  world.  The  successors  of  Zarathushtra 
did  not  abandon  the  conception  of  Saoshyant,  nor 
detach  him  from  the  great  teacher  who  had  taught 
them  to  hope.  The  very  name  Saoshyant  contained 
the  idea  of  futurity ;  and  in  the  true  spirit  of  their 
founder  they  prepared  themselves  to  wait  for  one  who 
was  yet  to  come.  A  mythical  symbol  was  developed 
by  which  the  future  deliverer1  was  regarded  as  the 

1  His  name  was  Astvat-drdta,  "  incarnate  Right "  :  Bartholomae 
(AirJVb,  215)  compares  Ys  4316  astvai  assm  fiyat.  (It  should  be 
remembered  that  3rata  is  really  the  same  as  asa,  being  indeed 
closer  to  the  Aryan  original  of  the  Vedic  rta.}  This  forms 
a  climax  after  his  two  precursors,  "  Increaser  of  Right"  and 
"Increaser  of  Worship."  The  name  fell  out  of  use  ultimately  in 
favour  of  the  title  saoxyant.  Cf.  Sb'derblom,  La  Vie  Future,  252  :  I 
prefer  Bartholomae's  interpretation,  as  restoring  symmetry.  As 
Soderblom  himself  says,  the  fact  that  his  own  rendering  ("  he 
who  restores  the  body")  is  found  in  Yt  13129  does  not  prove  that 
it  is  right, 


Prophet's  true  seed,  though  only  to  be  born  ages 
after  he  passed  away.  But  in  essentials  the  eschat- 
ology  was  unchanged. 

From  the  rather  vague  and  general  pictures  of  a 
renovated  world  we  turn  to  the  much  more  precise 
promises  and  warnings  which  Zarathushtra  has  for 
the  individual.  The  diligent  and  peaceful  husband 
man  is  to  find  comfort  under  oppression  in  the  cer 
tainty  of  a  blessed  future  ( Ys  285) ;  and  even  the 
"  robber  horde  "  may  be  converted  to  the  religion  by 
this  message.  He  calls  his  gospel  a  manthra,  an  old 
Aryan  word  which  had  always  had  the  suggestion  of 
inspiration  about  it.  Later  ages,  in  India  and  Iran 
alike,  saw  it  degenerate  into  a  spell ;  but  Zarathushtra 
knows  no  magic — he  will  only  try  to  convince  men 
by  the  reasonableness  of  a  message  which  he  knows 
to  be  from  God.  He  seems  to  have  taught — though 
the  Gathic  texts  are  far  from  explicit  here — that  the 
merits  of  the  Ashavan  were  being  faithfully  recorded 
day  by  day,  to  be  brought  out  at  the  Last  Day. 
Bartholomae's  statement  of  this  teaching  may  be 
quoted  (AirWb,  702)  :- 

The  victory  of  the  world  of  Ahura  over  that  of  the  Daevas 
is  secured  by  the  preponderance  of  good  works  over  evil  at 
the  last  account :  the  promised  reward  is  secured  for  the 
individual  by  the  preponderance  of  good  in  his  own  persona] 
reckoning.  Zarathushtra  as  "Overlord"  (ahu)  takes  care 
that  none  of  the  faithful  man's  good  works  shall  be  lost, 
but  entered  in  the  account  to  his  credit,  and  treasured  uf 
in  Ahura's  "  House.""  As  "  Judge  "  (ratu)  he  accomplisl^ 
the  final  enfeebling  of  the  world  of  the  Druj,  and  the  fina 
dominion  of  Ahura  Mazdah. 

He  finds  the  same  teaching  in  the  Ahuna  Vairyc 
(Ys  2713),  the  great  creed  of  Parsism,  composed  afte: 


Zarathushtra's  day,  but  at  so  early  a  date  that  the 
key  to  its  meaning  seems  to  have  been  mostly  lost. 
We  may  thus  render  it,  after  Bartholomae  : l — 

Even  as  he  (Zarathushtra)  is  the  Lord  for  us  to  choose, 
so  is  he  the  Judge,  according  to  the  Right,  he  that  bringeth 
the  life-works  of  Good  Thought  unto  Mazdah,  and  (so)  the 
Dominion  unto  Ahura,  even  he  whom  they  made  shepherd 

for  the  poor.2 

On  this  reading  of  the  creed  we  see  the  Prophet 
marked  out  by  Asha,  the  Right  Order  of  things,  to 
take  command  of  this  life*  and  then  at  the  last  to 
present  before  God  the  merits  of  his  faithful  followers  : 
Vohu  Manah  has  a  practically  collective  significance, 
as  often.  This  final  work  will  bring  the  complete 

1  See  his  elaborate  defence  of  it  in  Zum  AirWb,  126-133,  where 
he   gives    Geldner's    translation    and  his  own  in  parallel  columns 
and  discusses  differences  between  them.     Geldner's  investigation 

11  (Studien,  1882,  p.  144  ff.)  laid  the  foundation  of  an  intelligible 
dei  explanation  of  this  profoundly  difficult  text.  I  should  add  that 
\oy  Dr  Casartelli  is  not  satisfied  that  the  ahu  is  Zarathushtra  and  not 


,    Mazdah. 

2  It  will  be  advisable  to  quote  Bartholomae's  own  words,  as  I 
have  reproduced  him  rather  freely :    I  add  Geldner's    version  for 
comparison : — 

\\  ||       Bartholomae  : 

Wie  der  beste  Oberherr,  so  der  (beste)  Richter  ist  er 
(namlich  ZaraOustra)  gemass  dem  heiligen  Recht,  der  des 
guten  Sinnes  Lebenswerke  dem  Mazdah  zubringt,  und  (so) 
die  Obergewalt  dem  Ahura,  er  (ZaraOustra},  den  sie  den 
Armen  als  Hirten  bestellt  haben. 
Geldner  : 

Wie    er   der    auserwahlte    Regent,    so    wurde    er   von    Asa 
selbst  aus  als  Lehrer  der  Welt  in  den  Werken  des  Vohumano 
(der  guten   Gesinnung)  bestellt  fur  Mazda.     Und  die    Herr- 
schaft   gehort    dem   Ahura,   der    den    Hilfsbedurftigen    einen 
f  Hirten  bestellte. 




victory  over  Evil,  the  coming  of  the  Kingdom  of 
God.  In  the  light  of  this  future  climax  of  his  work 
we  are  to  contemplate  his  preparatory  functions  in 
earthly  life  as  "  shepherd  of  the  poor,"  the  oppressed 
husbandmen  whose  virtues  are  at  last  to  win  Ahura 
Mazdah's  reward. 

Pahlavi  books  depict  a  treasure-house  (ganj)  where 
works  of  supererogation  were  stored  for  the  benefit 
of  those  whose  credit  was  inadequate.  The  idea 
makes  the  genuinely  Iranian  Hamistakdn  impossible 
—we  are  coming  to  this  doctrine  presently.  It 
cannot  be  original,  though  the  treasury  in  heaven, 
where  merit  is  safely  stored  against  the  Judgement, 
is  a  thoroughly  Gathic  conception ;  compare  Ys  432, 
and  the  statement  on  p.  160. 

In  close  agreement  with  this  lofty  ethic  is  the 
thought  on  which  the  Gathas  lay  great  stress,  that 
the  man's  own  Self  (daena)  is  the  real  determiner  of 
his  eternal  destiny.  The  ego  of  the  Liars  will  bring 
them  to  hell  by  their  own  actions ;  their  soul  and 
their  ego  will  distress  them  ( Ys  3 120,  4611).  It  is  very 
suggestive  that  Zarathushtra  tacitly  ignores  the  part 
of  the  human  personality  which  popular  belief  would 
have  chosen  for  guardian  on  the  way  to  paradise.  A 
genius  like  the  Fravashi,  which  was,  so  to  speak,  good 
ex  officio,  was  not  good  enough  for  him.1  The  Self, 
which  became  fairer  or  fouler  with  every  thought, 
word,  or  action  of  the  man  who  owned  it,  was  a  fitter 
guardian  angel  or  attendant  fiend.  The  exquisite 

1  The  special  discussion  of  the  Fravashi  doctrine  below  (Lecture 
VIII.)  deals  with  the  reason  why  these  spirits  were  only  associated 
with  the  righteous ;  see  pp.  257-9.  There  is  also  a  note  on  the 
relation  between  the  two  (?)  words  dacna. 


fragment  of  the  Hadhokht  Nask,  generally  known  as 
Yasht  22,  works  out  this  idea  entirely  in  the  spirit  of 
the  Gathas.1 

We  have  seen  how  two  constituent  elements2  of 
human  personality,  the  urvan  and  the  daend,  fared  at 
death.  What  about  the  body  ?  Among  the  Persians, 
it  was  buried,  and  covered  with  wax,3  which  implied  a 
desire  to  preserve  it,  very  different  from  the  impli 
cation  of  the  Magian  dakhma.  According  to  the 
Later  A  vesta  and  the  Pahlavi  writers — to  quote  Prof. 
Jackson's  summary 4 : — 

The  physical  constituents  of  the  gaeQa  which  enter  into 
combination  at  birth  and  go  into  dissolution  at  death  are 
(1)  tamt,  or  the  entire  body  with  its  various  anatomical 
portions ;  (2)  ast,  the  bones  or  frame ;  (3)  gaya  or  ustana, 
life,  vitality,  which  is  lost  at  death  (  Vd  59).  Although  the 
corporeal  body  is  resolved  into  its  elements  at  death,  the 
form  (T&hrpi  tanu)  is  once  more  renewed  at  the  Resurrection 
(Yt  1361,  Fragm.  43)  ;  and  the  individual  assumes  the  new 
body  of  the  hereafter  (Pahl.  tanu  I  pasln)  at  the  rejuven 
escence  or  renewal  of  the  world  (frasofordti). 

The  teaching  of  the  Gathas  on  the  resurrection 
of  the  body  is  deduced  by  Prof.  Jackson  from  Ys 
307,  where  Aramaiti,  who  presides  over  the  earth, 
gives  "  continued  life  of  their  bodies,  and  inde- 

1  A  free  verse  paraphrase  of  this  text,  so  far  as  it   affects   the 
passing  of  the  righteous  soul,  will  be  found  in  my  ERPP,  at  the 
end :    sundry  other  features  of   Parsi    eschatology   are  woven    in. 
Bishop  Casartelli  has  also  put  "  Yt  22  "  into  English  verse,  keep 
ing  closer  to  the  text :    see  his    Leaves  from   my  Eastern    Garden 
(Market  Weighton,  1908). 

2  On  the  five  spiritual  constituents  of  man,  found  in  the  Yasht 
of  the  Fravashis,  see  below,  p.  256  f. 

3  On   this   statement   see   below,  p.  202   f.,  and   the   note   on 
Herodotus,  i.  140,  p.  398. 

4  Grundriss,  ii.  674. 


structibility."  Since  the  bodies  sleep  in  her  bosom, 
her  bestowal  of  a(pdapa-ia  upon  them  accords  well 
with  the  character  of  a  genius  who  cannot  con 
sistently  be  associated  with  corruption.  If  so,  we 
see  opposite  deductions  from  the  purity  of  Earth. 
The  Magi  refuse  to  pollute  her  with  the  touch  of 
a  dead  body.  Zarathushtra  accounts  her  to  be  so 
charged  with  life  that  she  gives  renewal  of  life  to 
the  corpse  that  is  within  her.  Only,  he  does  not 
allow  this  life-giving  power  to  the  material  earth, 
but  to  the  exalted  Spirit,  a  very  part  of  the  Creator's 
being,  which  watches  over  the  earth  He  made.1 

In  this  idea,  accordingly,  we  find  Zarathushtra 
making  use  of  material  drawn  from  the  old  nature- 
worship,  and  adapting  it  to  spiritual  use.  A  more 
conspicuous  example  of  this  practice  is  found  at 
the  next  step  in  the  journey  of  the  disembodied 
soul.  Cinvato  p9rotu,  the  Bridge  of  the  Separater, 
is  mentioned  three  times  in  the  Gathas,2  and  often 
in  the  Later  Avesta,  generally  as  one  word,  cinvat- 
pzratu,  as  is  natural  when  it  has  become  a  technical 
term.  We  have  detailed  descriptions  of  it  in  our 
later  authorities,  summarised  thus  by  Bartholomae 
(AirWb,  597):- 

1  Prof.  Soderblom's  discussion  (La  Vie  Future,  242)  is  prior  to 
Prof.  Jackson's  treatment  of  the  Gathic  text,  and  must  be  modified 
in  the  light  of  it.  He  cites  de  Harlez  for  the  view  that  even  in 
Yt  1 989  resurrection  is  spiritual,  and  that  Pahlavi  theology  first  in 
troduced  the  notion  of  a  resurrectio  carnis.  He  himself  thinks  that 
"  the  resurrection  may  well  have  formed  part  of  the  theology  of  the 
priests  of  the  Gathas,  though  in  the  fragments  of  Gathic  literature 
that  have  come  down  to  us  they  had  no  occasion  to  speak  of  it " — 
except  once,  as  Prof.  Jackson  enables  us  to  say,  or  even  twice,  as 
Ys  486  suggests  (see  note).  2  Ys  5 113,  4610'11. 


According  to  Middle  Persian  books,  it  goes  from  the 
foot  of  Harburz1  on  the  north  to  its  southern  ridge. 
Underneath  the  middle  of  it,  which  rests  on  the  "  Mount 
of  Judgement "  (cikat  ~t  daittk),  lies  hell.  For  the  righteous 
it  appears  to  be  9  spears1  or  27  arrows1  length  across,  but 
for  the  godless  man  as  narrow  as  a  razor's  edge,  so  that 
he  falls  into  hell.  [A  number  of  references  follow.] 

This  picturesque  fancy  was  borrowed  by  Islam  :  com 
pare  Byron's  lines, 

Though  on  Al-Sii'at's  arch  I  stood, 
That  topples  o'er  the  fiery  flood, 
With  Paradise  within  my  view, 
And  all  its  Houris  beckoning  through. 

(But  Zarathushtra's  Paradise  had  no  houris  !)  There 
is  no  reason  to  question  the  antiquity  of  this  de 
scription  of  the  Bridge,  though  it  comes  to  us 
from  late  authorities.  It  is,  indeed,  likely  enough 
that  the  germ  of  it  was  older  even  than  the 
Aryan  period.  There  was  in  Northern  mythology 
a  bridge,  guarded  by  a  maiden,  which  led  to  the 
home  of  the  dead.2  It  may  have  owed  its  origin 
to  the  rainbow,  or  more  probably  to  the  Milky 
Way.  However  this  may  be,  Zarathushtra  evi 
dently  concerned  himself  little  enough  with  the 
working  out  of  the  myth.  We  trace  the  hall 
mark  of  his  thought  in  the  name,  which  represents 
the  only  part  of  the  idea  he  cared  to  retain.  As 
Soderblom  acutely  points  out,3  the  test  of  the 
Bridge  is  not  ethical :  it  comes  down  from  a  time 

1  Modern  Persian  Alburz,  a  mythical   mountain  in   the  A  vesta, 
Hard  bardzaiti. 

2  So  Prof.  H.  M.  Chadwick  in  a  letter  to  me  :  he  thinks  there  is 
affinity  with  cinvato  p3nlu.     See  other  parallels  in  Soderblom,  Les 
Fravashis,  70  f. 

3  Les  Fravashis,  70,  following  de  Harlez. 


when  vigour  and  agility  which  could  get  over  a 
tight-rope  without  turning  dizzy  were  qualities  for 
admission  into  Paradise.  Zarathushtra  had  no  use 
for  Blondins,  any  more  than  for  houris,  in  his 
Paradise ;  and  in  retaining  the  Bridge  from  the 
popular  belief  he  added  a  judgement  which  the  soul 
had  to  undergo  before  passing  over.  Of  course, 
this  made  the  Bridge  superfluous,  but  it  also  made 
it  a  harmless  conception : l  given  the  new  ethical 
figure  of  the  "Separater"  (Cinvant),  the  Bridge  to 
which  he  admitted  might  be  retained.  In  Ys  3215 
we  read  how  the  righteous,  whom  the  sinful  com 
munity  will  not  have  to  rule  over  them,  shall  be 
"  borne  away  from  them  to  the  dwelling  of  Good 
Thought."  This  is  the  separation  on  which  the 
Gathas  insist  so  strongly.  Who  is  the  Cinvant  ? 
The  answer  seems  to  be  supplied  decisively  by 
Ys  4617:- 

Where  [in  Paradise],  O  Jamaspa  Hvogva,  I  will  recount 
your  wrongs  .  .  .  before  him  who  shall  separate  (vicinaot) 
the  wise  and  the  unwise  through  Right,  his  prudent 
counsellor,  even  Mazdah  Ahura. 

Minor  differences  between  the  translators  here,  re 
ferred  to  in  the  note,  do  not  affect  the  certain 
inference ;  and  that  God  should  be  the  Judge  of 
all  is  what  we  should  expect.  But  Mazdah  is 
not  alone  at  the  Bridge,  though  his  function  there 
is  supreme.  Zarathushtra  himself  will  be  there :  as 
he  declares  in  the  same  hymn  (Ys  4610),  he  will 

1  Cf.  Boklen,  Pars.  Esch.,  26  :  "Sie  ist  offenbar  ein  mythologisches 
Stuck,  das  die  Gathaverfasser  iibernommen  haben  und  das  fur  sie 
nur  insoweit  Interesse  hatte,  als  sich  geistige  Vorstellungen  damit 
verkniipfen  liess." 


plead  for  his  followers  as  their  advocate  and  then 
accompany  them  as  their  guide.  There  is  also 
Rashnu,  the  abstraction  of  Justice,  called  razixta, 
"most  just,"  in  the  Later  Avesta,  where  he  first 
appears  as  the  yazata  charged  with  the  weighing 
of  the  merits  and  demerits  of  men  before  the 
Bridge.  He  is  specially  associated  with  Mithra 
and  Sraosha,  the  latter  of  whom  is  a  Gathic  figure. 
Moreover,  the  fact  that  he  has  only  a  late  and 
perfunctory  Yasht  addressed  to  him  rather  takes 
him  out  of  the  category  of  the  Yazatas  of  the  un- 
reformed  Iranian  religion — the  Daevas  in  the  older 
sense,  as  we  saw  above  (p.  137  f.) :  his  entirely 
abstract  character  goes  the  same  way.  Since  his 
functions  are  very  limited,  and  are  only  named  in  a 
few  places  in  the  Gathas,  it  is  perhaps  not  strange 
that  Sraosha,  who  stands  essentially  on  the  same 
footing,  should  appear  frequently  and  Rashnu  not 
at  all.  But  it  is  equally  possible  that  Rashnu  is  a 
later  impersonation,  conceived  in  the  true  spirit  of 
Zarathushtra's  system,  but  after  the  Gathic  canon 
was  closed.1 

Putting  Rashnu,  then,  aside,  as  at  least  unprov- 
able  for  the  period  of  Zarathushtra,  we  should  add 
a  few  points  as  to  the  function  of  the  Prophet 
himself  in  the  Judgement.  I  spoke  of  him  just 
now  as  his  followers'  "  Advocate "  before  Mazdah 
(F*  4617),  and  their  "  Guide"  across  the  Bridge  (ib.10). 
But  there  is  a  suggestion  of  more  exalted  function 
yet.  In  Ys  341,  at  any  rate  according  to  the  natural 

1  Tiele  (Religionsgesch.,  210)  would  see  Greek  influence  in  the 
later  triad  of  Judges — Mithra,  Sraosha,  and  Rashnu.  I  greatly 
doubt  it. 


rendering  of  the  existing  text,  Zarathushtra  declares 
he  "  will  give  Immortality  and  Right  and  the  Do 
minion  of  Welfare  "  in  Mazdah's  name  :  see  the  note 
there.  And  in  the  supremely  sacred  Ahuna  Vairya 
formula,  which  cannot  be  much  later  than  the  Gathic 
period,  we  have  seen  that  Zarathushtra  is  declared 
to  be  both  ahu  and  ratu,  lord  of  men's  belief  and 
conduct  here,  and  ultimate  judge,  to  present  the 
fruits  of  his  religion  before  Mazdah.  That  he  will 
be  ratu — Mazdah  being  ahu — at  the  Resurrection  is 
to  be  gathered  also  from  Ys  331  and  3 12,  the  latter 
of  which  passages  is  quite  precise.  It  would  seem 
that  Zarathushtra  regards  himself  as  filling  in  the 
corporeal  world  the  place  that  Mazdah  fills  in  the 
spiritual,  by  virtue  of  his  unquestioning  conviction 
that  Mazdah  has  inspired  him  to  know  the  truth. 
His  work  in  the  world  then  is  to  produce  a  like 
conviction  in  the  minds  of  other  men,  and  by  this 
to  reform  human  life  as  a  whole.  As  already  stated, 
the  ultimate  victory  of  the  Good — or  in  technical 
language  the  "  Dominion  of  Ahura  Mazdah "  — 
depends  on  the  final  preponderance  of  good 
thoughts,  words,  and  deeds  over  evil  in  the  world 
as  a  whole.  By  persuading  men  to  "  Obedience," 
accordingly,  Zarathushtra  "  brings  the  Dominion  to 
Mazdah."  If  he  judges  men  on  their  life  record,  it  is 
as  preacher  of  a  revelation  which  they  have  accepted 
or  rejected  :  "  the  word  that  I  spoke,"  he  might  say, 
"it  shall  judge  him  at  the  Last  Day."  There  is 
nothing  in  the  least  incongruous  or  self-assertive  in 
the  Prophet's  claim,  and  certainly  nothing  to  prompt 
any  inference  that  sentences  in  which  it  is  made  could 
not  have  come  from  his  own  lips. 


It  may  be  noted,  by  the  way,  that  any  difficulty 
which  might  have  been  felt  as  to  the  apparent 
coincidence  of  function  between  Mazdah  and  Zara- 
thushtra  at  the  Judgement  is  discounted  further  by 
the  appearance  of  other  names  yet.  In  Ys  4312 
Sraosha  comes  as  angel  of  judgement— as  in  the 
Later  A  vesta — 

followed  by  treasure-laden  Destiny  (Asi\  who  shall  render 
to  men  severally  the  destinies  of  the  twofold  award. 

So  here,  as  in  many  other  places,  Mazdah's  attributes, 
described  as  his  fellow- A huras,  perform  a  function 
belonging  essentially  to  God  in  His  unity  of  nature. 
This  is  of  course  sharply  differentiated  from  the 
sense  in  which  the  human  teacher  acts  as  judge,  as 
the  stanza  just  cited  will  itself  show  when  examined 
as  a  whole. 

Two  or  three  other  points  may  be  referred  to  in 
connexion  with  the  concept  of  Judgement.  A  strik 
ing  anthropomorphic  phrase  appears  in  Ys  34*,  where 
the  separation  of  "  faithful "  and  "  hostile  "  is  made 
by  "the  pointings  of  the  hand."  If  Ys  434  (q.v.)  refers 
to  the  same  idea,  the  hand  will  be  that  of  Mazdah. 
Reserving  for  the  present  some  consequences  of  the 
central  doctrine  of  the  weighing  of  men's  merits  and 
demerits,  we  may  take  up  the  question  of  the  in 
dividual  judgement,  as  contrasted  with  the  general. 
In  his  review  of  Stave's  book  on  the  influence  of 
Parsism  on  Judaism,1  Prof.  Soderblom  seems  to 
doubt  the  emergence  of  this  doctrine  as  early  as  the 
Gathic  period.  I  cannot  but  feel  that  this  goes  rather 
too  far.  The  figure  of  the  Separater  contains  every- 

1  Rev.  de  I'histoire  des  religions,  xl.  266  ff. 


thing  essential  in  the  later  doctrine  of  judges  who 
wait  by  the  Bridge ;  and  1  should  hold  rather  em 
phatically  that  the  Judgement  is  Zarathushtra's  own 
addition  to  the  eschatological  picture.  The  weighing 
is  no  doubt  an  old  Iranian  idea.  It  coincides  re 
markably  with  the  principle  of  Persian  jurisprudence, 
whereby  an  accused  man  was  supposed  to  be  judged 
on  his  whole  record,  and  a  balance  of  merits  might 
cancel  the  offence  with  which  he  was  charged.  And 
if  we  are  right  in  recognising  Hamistakdn  in  two 
passages  of  the  Gathas — on  which  see  p.  174  f. — 
it  seems  essential  that  we  should  accept  the  doctrine 
of  judgement  in  this  form  as  an  integral  part  of 
Zarathushtra's  own  system. 

From  the  Bridge  the  soul  of  the  good  man  passes 
into  Paradise — according  to  the  Later  A  vesta  through 
the  three  heavens  of  good  thought,  good  word,  and 
good  deed.  The  Gathic  name  Gar 6  ddmana  means 
"  House  of  Praise  " * :  garo  answers  phonetically  to 
the  Sanskrit  giras,  genitive  of  gih,  and  there  seems 
no  reason  for  trying  some  other  equation.  Soderblom 
well  compares  the  fine  phrase  in  Psalm  224.  The 
name  is  kept  up  in  the  Later  Avesta  (garonmana) 
and  in  Pahlavi,  but  its  implication  is  nowhere  brought 
out.  If  Soderblom's  parallel  from  the  Rgveda  (x. 
1357)  is  more  than  accidental — songs  and  flute  are 
heard  in  Yama's  heaven2 — we  should  suppose  that 
Zarathushtra  took  over  this  name  of  heaven  from 

1  Soderblom   (La    Vie  Future,  98)  makes  rmn  gaire  in  Ys  284  an 
equivalent.       This    is    supported    by   the    Pahlavi    tradition   and 
Neriosengh  (see  Mills,  Gathas,  8  f.) ;  but  it  is  difficult  to  get  it  out  of 
the  text.     See  the  translation  below  (p.  345),  and  AirWb,  514. 

2  Girbhih  pariskrtah  shows  in  fact  the  same  word. 


Aryan  antiquity,  and  did  not  lay  enough  stress  on 
it  to  give  us  any  expansion  of  the  idea.  Whether  this 
be  so  or  not,  he  seems  to  have  created  terms  of  his  own 
which  were  more  in  accord  with  his  trend  of  thought.1 
He  likes  to  dwell  on  the  word  "best"  (vahitia), 
which  ultimately  survived  all  other  names  for  heaven : 
it  may  be  read  in  the  new  Manichsean  fragments 
from  Turfan,  and  in  Modern  Persian  still.  The  name 
of  the  Amshaspand  Voliu  or  Vahistam  Mano  describes 
the  paradise  where  the  Best  Thought  dwells.2  It 
seems  fair  to  claim  that  Zarathushtra  anticipated 
Marlowe  and  Milton  in  the  great  doctrine  that 

The  mind  is  its  own  place,  and  in  itself 
Can  make  a  heaven  of  hell,  a  hell  of  heaven. 

Sometimes  we  find  "  the  House  of  Good  Thought " 
(F*  3010  al],  "the  Kingdom  of  Good  Thought" 
(Fs336),  "the  Kingdom  of  blessings"  (Ys  289),  "the 
Pasture  of  Good  Thought"  (Ys  333),  "the  glorious 
heritage  of  Good  Thought "  ( Ys  534) ;  and  we  are 
told  in  a  fine  sentence  that  the  way  to  it  is  on 
"the  road  of  Good  Thought,  built  by  Right,  on 
which  the  Selves  of  the  Future  Deliverers  shall  go  to 
the  reward  "  ( F?  3413).  The  language  used  is  not 
quite  free  from  metaphor.  The  poet  longs  to  "  see 

1  Soderblom,  following  Darmesteter,  would  add  one  to  the  list 
which  I  do  not  venture  to  give  except  in  a  footnote.     In   Ys  4616, 
varsdamqm  was  read  by  the  Pahlavi  glossator  as  a  compound  of  vary 
and  dama  ;  and  Darmesteter  rendered  duly  "  Dans  la  demeure  des 
vceux  combles."     Bartholomae  (Idg.  Forsch.,  x.   10)  says  the  Pahlavi 
is  only  an  "  etymologische  Spielerei/'  which  the  French  savant  has 
taken  au  grand  serieux.       He   himself  makes  it  an  infinitive  (Skt 
vardhmari):    Geldner  renders  "in  seiner  Herrlichkeit."     I  confess 
I  rather  like  the  Spielerei,  and  sympathise  with  Soderblom.     See 
La  Vie  Future,  99,  and  my  note  on  Ys  4-6  I.e. 

2  See  below,  p.  349,  note  on  F*  SO4. 


Right  and  Good  Thought,  the  throne  of  mightiest 
Ahura  and  the  Obedience  (sraosdm]  of  Mazdah"  (Ys 
285).  But  there  clearly  cannot  be  any  approach  to  a 
spatial  conception  of  the  place  where  the  Wise  Lord 
is  throned,  when  "  Obedience  to  Mazdah  "  comes  as 
its  correlative  in  the  next  line.  Perhaps  the  nearest 
approach  to  localising  the  Paradise  is  in  Ys  301— 
"  the  felicity  that  is  with  the  heavenly  lights,  which 
through  Right  shall  be  beheld  by  him  that  wisely 
thinks."  But  we  need  not  stay  to  show  that  this 
involves  no  more  real  localising  than  when  we  speak 
of  "  heaven  "  as  the  abode  of  the  blessed.  The  Later 
Avesta  made  more  of  this  when  it  stereotyped  the 
phrase  anayra  raoccl,  "the  Lights  without  begin 
ning."  Yet  there  too  the  commoner  terms  for  heaven 
and  hell  are  vahisto  and  acisto  avhus,  "  the  Best,"  "  the 
Worst  Existence."  The  Gathic  names  for  hell  are 
of  the  same  mintage.  It  is  the  House  of  the  Lie 
(Druj),  and  of  Worst  Thought,  the  Home  of  the 
Daevas,  the  Worst  Existence,  and  the  like.  Remorse 
is  the  sharpest  of  the  pangs  of  hell :  whoever  went  on 
the  downward  path, 

his  own  thoughts,  along  that  rugged  way, 
Pursued,  like  raging  hounds,  their  father  and  their  prey. 

But  there  are  more  symbols  employed  here.  Hell 
is  full  of  darkness,  sad  voices,  stench,  foul  food,  and 
cold.  It  would  seem  that  the  conception  of  it  sprang 
from  the  privations  of  winter  on  the  steppes  during 
the  migration  southward,  when  the  preciousness  of 
the  house-fire  made  Atar  the  very  symbol  of  all  that 
was  best  for  man.  For  the  Iranian,  hell  and  the 
demons  were  always  in  the  north.  The  idea  of 
darkness  is  the  distinguishing  feature  of  the  House 


of  the  Lie.  It  is  worked  out  in  the  later  fancy  which 
conceives  the  damned  so  close  together  that  they 
seemed  an  indistinguishable  mass ;  yet  in  the  dark 
ness  each  ever  wails,  "  I  am  alone  !  "  The  symbolism 
of  Fire  was  kept  out  of  this  eschatology  for  obvious 
reasons.  It  was  left  to  the  imagination  of  Milton  to 
combine  the  symbols  :— 

A  dungeon  horrible  on  all  sides  round 

As  one  great  furnace  flamed,  yet  from  those  flames 

No  light,  but  rather  darkness  visible. 

The  picture  is  quite  in  the  spirit  of  the  Gathas. 
The  basis  of  the  darkness  motive  was  very  likely 
Aryan.  In  the  Rgveda  (vii.  1043)  hell  is  a  place  of 
darkness  in  the  depths  of  the  earth.  We  have  seen 
already  (p.  128  f.)  how  the  evil  spirit  was  imagined 
before  Zarathushtra  to  dwell  below  as  "the  god 
underground,"  in  the  phrase  of  Herodotus.  The 
Prophet,  then,  is  using  again  imagery  made  ready  for 
him.  But  as  usual  he  takes  care  to  stamp  it  with 
his  own  hallmark,  and  make  it  clear  that  imagery  is 
only  meant  to  impress  ideas  that  are  wholly  of  the 

If  ideas  of  space  are  left  intentionally  vague,  we 
soon  find  that  those  of  time  are  defined  with  vivid 
clearness.  There  are  three  different  phrases  to 
indicate  the  duration  of  future  reward  and  punish 
ment.  A  typical  passage  is  Ys  457. 

He  whose  awards,  whereof  he  ordains,  men  shall  attain 
whoso  are  living  or  have  been  or  shall  be.  In  eternity 
(amsratait'i)  shall  the  soul  (urva)  of  the  righteous  be 
happy,  in  perpetuity  (utayTita)  the  torments  of  the  men  of 
the  Lie.  All  this  doth  Mazdah  Ahura  appoint  by  his 


Here  of  course  we  might  render  "  in  immortality  " ; 
but  in  Ys  481  we  read  : 

That  which  was  long  since  foretold  shall  be  dealt  out  in 
eternity  to  demons  and  to  men. 

Am9r9tat  is  capable  therefore  of  meaning  simply 
endless  existence.  The  phrase  yavoi  vispai,  "to  all 
time,"  is  unmistakable  in  Ys  4611,  where  it  is  said 
of  the  Karapans  and  Kavis  (pp.  140,  157) : 

Their  own  soul  and  their  own  Self  shall  torment  them 
when  they  come  to  the  Bridge  of  the  Separator.  To  all 
time  will  they  be  guests  for  the  House  of  the  Lie. 

The  same  phrase  is  used  of  the  happiness  of  the 
righteous.  In  the  light  of  these  two  expressions  we 
can  hardly  doubt  that  daraga,  "long,"  means  "eternal" 
in  this  connexion.  In  Ys  3011 "  long  punishment,"  and 
3120  "  the  future  long  age  of  misery,  of  darkness,  ill 
food,  and  crying  of  woe,"  are  as  clearly  endless  as  in 
335  is  the  "  long  life  "  of  him  who  treads  "  the  straight 
ways  unto  Right,  wherein  Mazdah  Ahura  dwells." 
Utayuiti,  "  perpetuity,"  is  another  word  used  of  both 
states  :  see  Ys  457,  just  quoted,  and  338. 

The  future  of  the  righteous  and  of  the  wicked  is 
accordingly  marked  out  clearly  enough,  and  the 
contrast  is  as  that  of  noon  and  midnight.  So 
reasonable  and  practical  a  thinker  was  not  likely  to 
overlook  the  fact  that  a  large  proportion  of  men  will 
not  easily  fall  into  classes  between  which  there  is 
a  great  gulf  fixed.  Since  provision  was  admittedly 
made  for  this  in  later  Parsism,  the  presumption  is 
in  favour  of  the  expectation  that  Zarathushtra  would 
not  omit  to  deal  with  it.  And  there  are  two  Gathic 
passages  where  the  recognition  of  the  Limbo  doctrine 


seems  to  suit  the  language  and  the  context  better 
than  anything  else.  I  quote  them  after  Bartholomae, 
to  whom  belongs  the  credit  of  having  first  found 
the  key : l 

According  as  it  is  with  those  laws  that  belong  to  the 
present  life,  so  shall  the  Judge  act  with  most  just  deed 
towards  the  man  of  the  Lie  and  the  man  of  the  Right, 
and  him  whose  false  things  and  good  things  balance 
( Ys  331 :  see  notes  on  the  passage,  p.  358). 

Zarathushtra  is  himself  the  Ratu  (Judge)  here, 
though  he  does  not  expressly  make  the  claim.  Less 
certain,  but  with  a  high  degree  of  probability,  is  the 
reference  in  Ys  484 : 

He  who  makes  his  thought  now  better  now  worse,  and 
even  so  his  Self  by  deed  and  word,  who  follows  his  own 
inclinations,  desires,  and  choices,  his  place  shall  be  separate 
according  to  thy  judgement  at  the  last. 

The   "  separate  place  "  here  is  made  explicit  in  the 
Later   Avestan  misva  gatu,  "place   of  the    mixed." 
It  was  said  to  extend  from  the  earth  to  the  stars- 
was   this   large   allowance   intended  to  suggest  that 

1  Prof.  Bartholomae  draws  my  attention  to  an  oversight  of  mine 
in  ERPP,  98,  by  which  I  assigned  the  Priorit'dt  to  Roth.  As  a 
matter  of  fact,  Roth's  well-known  paper  in  ZDMG,  xxxvii.  223-9, 
was  two  years  after  that  of  Bartholomae  in  the  same  journal  (1881), 
and  was  written  to  controvert  the  criticism  of  de  Harlez.  Soder- 
blom  (La  Vie  Future,  126)  thinks  the  Dasturs  read  too  much  into 
Ys  331,  and  that  Zarathushtra  thought  as  little  of  Hamistakdn  when 
he  wrote  it  as  Paul  thought  of  Purgatory  in  1  Cor.  315.  Dr 
Casartelli  also  thinks  the  doctrine  later  (Mazdayasnian  Religion, 
p.  194  f).  But  neither  he  nor  Soderblom  had  before  him  Bar- 
tholomae's  treatment  of  hama-myasaite  as  from  ham  (Skt  sam,  Greek 
d-)  and  the  root  myas,  "  mix,"  cognate  with  Skt  miprd,  and  ultimately 
with  misceo  and  ^lyvvfjn :  see  Walde,  Latein.  etym.  fVorterbuch?,  488. 
This  brings  in  L.  Av.  mis  van  and  Pahl.  hamistakdn  to  be  etymological 
as  well  as  semantic  associates. 


there  would  be  a  preponderance  of  souls  that  could 
not  be  classified  as  asavan  or  as  drdgvant  ?  Souls  in 
this  limbo  only  suffered  the  changes  of  temperature 
due  to  the  seasons,  and  the  Regeneration  would 
bring  their  dubious  position  to  an  end.  Later 
speculations  of  this  nature  need  not  be  described ; 
but  one  specimen  might  be  noted,  the  case  of 
Keresaspa.  This  hero  might  have  been  expected  to 
go  to  G-aronmana  for  his  exploits  in  dragon-slaying, 
related  in  Yt  1938  ff.  and  elsewhere.  But  he  was 
unfortunate  enough  to  offend  the  Fire,  by  attempting 
cookery  on  what  seemed  an  island  but  was  really 
a  sea-monster's  back.  The  monster  withdrew  into 


the  depths,  Atar  suffering  extinction  in  the  process ; 
and  "  the  manly-minded  Keresaspa  fled  affrighted," 
though  the  Pahlavi  commentator  assures  us  that  he 
proved  his  manly-mindedness  by  keeping  his  wits 
under  obviously  trying  circumstances.  It  seems  a 
little  hard  that  he  should  be  condemned  to  limbo 
for  an  act  so  unintentionally  disrespectful  to  the 
majesty  of  Fire.  The  story  is  worth  repeating  for 
the  patent  contrast  it  affords  to  the  lines  of  Zara- 
thushtra's  thought.  His  "  middling  souls "  were, 
we  may  be  sure,  determined  on  more  ethical 
principles ;  but  the  scanty  indications  of  the  Gathas 
are  not  enough  to  satisfy  our  curiosity  further.  It 
is  interesting  to  compare  Plato's  treatment  of  the 
same  problem  in  the  mythus  of  the  Phcedo,  c.  62. 
Roth  compares  also  a  passage  in  the  Koran  (Sur.  7) 
where  men  of  this  kind  abide  on  the  ridge  of  the 
wall  separating  paradise  and  hell,  content  to  escape 
the  torments  they  see  on  the  one  side,  but  full  of 
unquenchable  longing  for  the  joys  visible  on  the 


other.  Milton's  Paradise  of  Fools,  located  on  the 
outermost  "  sphere "  of  the  Ptolemaic  "  world,"  is 
another  interesting  literary  parallel. 

Some  other  details  in  Zarathushtra's  eschatology 
will  emerge  from  the  reading  of  the  Gathas  as  given 
below.  What  has  been  said  will  suffice  for  a  general 
picture  of  his  system.  Later  accretions,  consistent 
or  incongruous,  may  be  examined  in  Soderblom's 
great  monograph,  in  Casartelli's  authoritative  account 
of  Sassanian  Parsism,  and  in  Boklen's  suggestive  but 
too  ingenious  exposition  of  parallels  between  Parsi 
and  Jewish  eschatology.  A  few  general  observations 
must  suffice  here. 

Specifically  Magian  eschatology  was  probably 
limited  to  speculations  as  to  a  new  heaven  and  a  new 
earth.  We  have  the  authority  of  Theopompus  for 
their  belief  in  immortality,  but  even  Theopompus  is 
not  nearly  ancient  enough  to  guarantee  his  evidence 
as  applying  to  Magianism  apart  from  the  Iranian  and 
the  strictly  Zarathushtrian  elements  which  they 
assimilated.  Of  course,  I  must  admit  in  my  turn 
that  to  prove  the  absence  of  an  individual  eschatology 
in  original  Magianism  lies  outside  the  evidence. 
There  is  one  obvious  point  of  view  from  which 
Magianism  would  naturally  come  to  a  belief  in 
immortality.  Death  is  conspicuously  the  creation  of 
Ahriman,  one  of  whose  standing  epithets  is  pouru- 
mahrka,  "many-slaying."  Even,  then,  if  immortal 
ity  formed  no  part  of  the  original  doctrine  of  the 
Magi — and  it  seems  to  me  improbable  that  it  did 
belong  to  their  system  before  they  took  up  Zoro- 
astrianism — it  would  be  commended  to  them  by  their 
tendency  to  make  the  world  evenly  divided  between 


the  two  opposing  powers.  Light  and  darkness,  health 
and  sickness,  knowledge  and  ignorance,  love  and  hate 
—these  were  antitheses  necessarily  linked  with  the 
conception  of  Ormazd  and  Ahriman.  Life  and  death 
could  clearly  not  be  omitted ;  and  the  certainly 
Magian  notion  of  the  supremely  polluting  power  of 
a  corpse  would  tend  to  suggest  that  the  good  Spirit 
must  annul  that  which  was  so  conspicuously  the 
triumph  of  his  foe.  This,  however,  only  meant  that 
the  Magi  accepted  immortality,  not  that  they 
inherited  a  doctrine  based  on  the  analogy  of  nature, 
like  the  unreformed  Iranian  religion,  or  like  Zara- 
thushtra  could  contribute  original  and  profound 
thought  to  the  establishment  of  the  far-reaching 
conception  which  was  to  influence  so  widely  the 
religious  thinking  of  men.  The  more  character 
istically  Magian  speculations — the  flattened  earth, 
the  vanishing  of  shadows,  the  uniformity  of  speech, 
and  the  like — I  have  dealt  with  elsewhere.  How  far 
these  Magian  ideals  contribute  to  the  enhancement 
of  happiness  in  the  world  that  is  to  be,  the  readei 
may  judge  for  himself. 

Meanwhile,  among  the  Iranian  peoples  whose 
belief  in  a  future  life  Zarathushtra  had  inherited  anc 
developed,  the  picturesque  and  mythical  side  of  th< 
doctrine  naturally  went  on  gathering  new  features 
The  hints  of  the  Gathas  were  improved  upon — ii 
indeed,  we  must  not  generally  say  that  the  Gatha 
have  reduced  to  mere  hints  elements  of  mythu 
already  existing,  which  in  post- reformation  days  re 
covered  all  their  old  exuberance.  For  example,  th 
Gathas  allude1  to  the  nectar  and  ambrosia — if  w 

1  See  Ys  3411  and  note  (p.  363). 


may  translate  by  familiar  terms  of  another  mythology 
— on  which  the  blessed  are  to  feast  in  the  House  of 
Praise.  It  is  there,  as  we  should  expect,  a  passing 
symbol,  no  more  to  be  taken  literally  than  the  "  fruit 
of  the  vine "  which  Jesus  spoke  of  drinking  in  the 
Kingdom  of  God.  In  the  Later  Avesta  there  is 
more  precision.  The  climax  of  the  exquisite  descrip 
tion  of  the  passage  of  the  soul  into  the  presence  of 
Ahura  in  the  Hadhokht  Nask  ("  Yasht  22  ")  is  the 
answer  from  the  Throne  to  the  question  addressed  to 
f  he  newcomer  by  one  who  has  arrived  before  him  :— 

16  How  didst  thou  die,  O  righteous  man  ?     How  earnest 
thou,  righteous  man,  from  homes  stocked  with  cattle  and 
where  birds  gather  and  pair  (?),  from  the  corporeal  world 
into  the  spiritual,  from  the  world  of  perils  into  that  where 
perils   are  not  ?     How    fell  it    that    the  long  felicity  has 
come  to  thee  ? 

17  Then  spake  Ahura  Mazdah  :  Ask  him  not  of  whom  thou 
art  asking,  who  has  come  on  the  awful,  painful,  distressful 
path  where  body  and  consciousness l  part  asunder.     18  Let 
them  bring  him  food  of  springtide  butter  :  this  is  the  food 
of  the  youth 2  of  good  thoughts,  good  words,  good  deeds, 
good  Self  after  death ;  this  the  food  for  the  woman  whose 
good  thoughts,  good  words,  good  deeds  outweigh  (the  evil), 
docile,  obedient  to  the  authority,3  after  her  death. 

This  raoyna  zaramaya  is  evidently  the  survival  of 
an  Aryan  concept,  seen  in  the  Indian  amrti  and  the 
Greek  and  other  Indo-European  mythologies.  As 

1  Astasca  baoSanhasca :    cf.   the  five   parts  of  man   as  described 
below,  p.  256  f. 

2  For  the  daena  has  the  form  of  eternal  youth,  fixed  as  that  of 
fifteen  years  old. 

3  Ratu.      In  the    Later   Avesta    Bartholomae  defines  it  as   the 
spiritual  superior  assigned  to  every  creature  of  Ahura,  who  has  to 
make  the  decision  in  all  questions,  especially  of  religion.      Some 
times  it  keeps  its  older  sense  of  Judge.     See  AirWb,  1498. 


we  see  elsewhere,  the  Aryan  Sauma  (Haoma)  belongs 
to  the  same  category.  The  antithetic  "  foul  food," 
as  the  most  characteristic  feature  of  hell,  has  met  us 
already  in  the  Gathas  (p.  172),  and  meets  us  again  in 
the  obverse  of  Yasht  22  (I.36). 

There  are  many  other  things  to  be  learnt  from  the 
gem  of  the  Later  Avesta  from  which  this  quotation 
comes.  I  must  stay  for  only  one,  the  registration  of 
a  clear  sign-manual  of  Magian  work  in  the  exact  and 
mechanical  balancing  of  all  its  details.  As  the 
Yasht  has  come  down  to  us,  a  large  section  of 
this  hideous  caricature  is  missing.  Darmesteter 
(SHE,  xxiii.  319  f.)  supplies  its  substance  from  the 
Book  of  Arda  Viraf,  the  Pahlavi  Dante.  We  should 
have  liked  to  believe  that  something  sealed  the  lips 
of  that  literary  outrage-monger,  when  he  set  to  the 
deliberate  spoiling  of  the  most  beautiful  thing  in  the 
Avesta.  But  I  do  not  imagine  that  poetry  was  much 
in  the  line  of  the  priestly  theorists  who  tried  to  make 
Zarathushtra's  teaching  symmetrical.  It  may  have 
been  only  accident  that  stayed  the  sacrilegious  hand, 
It  is,  however,  a  curious  coincidence  at  least  that  so 
much  of  this  balancing  seems  to  have  been  left  un 
finished — angels  only  half  provided  with  fiends  tc 
match,  and  virtues  with  imperfectly  vicious  antitheses. 
It  all  belongs  to  the  general  fact  that  the  syncretism 
was  completed  before  the  Magi  had  become  entirel} 
merged  in  the  Parsi  community,  having  clung  toe 
long  to  their  own  peculiar  uses  and  beliefs,  whicl 
were  destined  to  fail  of  entrance  to  the  closed  canoi 
of  Sassanian  reformed  Mazdayasna. 

Let  me  close  with  one  reminder  affecting  a  fiel( 
I  have  left  generally  untouched  for  reasons  sufficient!] 


set  forth  elsewhere.  That  the  religion  we  know  as 
Mithraism  moved  on  a  very  different  and  a  very 
much  lower  plane  than  the  creed  of  Zarathushtra 
has  been  already  made  clear;  also  that  most  of  its 
primary  characteristics  were  so  independent  of  our 
Prophet,  and  so  charged  with  Semitic  and  other  alien 
ideas,  that  its  study  cannot  help  us  in  the  delineation 
of  the  religion  with  which  we  are  concerned.  But  it 
was  mostly  Aryan  mythology  that  gave  Mithraism 
its  doctrine  of  immortality.  The  long,  stern  struggle 
between  Mithra  and  Christ  now  lies  many  centuries 
back  in  the  past,  and  nothing  but  Christmas  Day 
remains  to  preserve  the  significant  fact  that  the 
"  Birthday  of  the  Unconquerable  Sun  "  has  long  been 
added  to  the  Victor's  spoils.  We  can  record  then 
without  grudging  the  value  of  the  testimony  of 
Mithraism  as  to  the  wistful  hope  of  humanity.  It  is 
faithfully  enshrined  in  Mr  Kipling's  splendid  song, 
which,  if  it  is  far  away  from  Zarathushtra,1  would  in 
this  regard  at  least  not  be  unworthy  of  his  thought : 

Mithras,  God  of  the  sunset,  low  on  the  Western  main, 
Then  descending  immortal,  immortal  to  rise  again  ! 
Now  when  the  watch  is  ended,  now  when  the  wine  is  drawn, 
Mithras,  also  a  soldier,  keep  us  pure  till  the  dawn ! 

Mithras,  God  of  the  Midnight,  here  where  the  great  bull  dies, 
Look  on  thy  children  in  darkness,  oh  take  our  sacrifice  ! 
Many  roads  Thou  hast  fashioned  :  all  of  them  lead  to  the  Light, 
Mithras,  also  a  soldier,  teach  us  to  die  aright ! 

1  What  Zarathushtra  thought  of  the  nocturnal  taurobolium,  alluded 
to  in  the  second  stanza,  is  noted  on  p.  129. 



Mayot  Se  Ke^topi'Sarat  TTO\\OV  TWV  aXXwv  avOpwirw. — HERODOTUS. 

WE  turn  now  to  what  I  have  provisionally  called  the 
non- Aryan  stratum  in  the  Avesta.  In  delineating 
this  I  must  premise  that  I  am  venturing  largely  off 
the  beaten  track  of  scholarship,  and  endeavouring  to 
blaze  a  path  for  myself  through  a  rather  difficult 
wood.  I  have  indicated  already  that  the  Yashts,  and 
kindred  parts  of  the  Avesta,  represent  with  tolerable 
exactness  the  unreformed  Iranian  religion.  They  are 
posterior  to  Zarathushtra  in  time  but  not  in  matter, 
except  to  a  relatively  small  degree.1  Like  many 
another  great  religious  reformer,  Zarathushtra  over 
stepped  the  people's  capacity.  His  success  was 
mainly  with  the  court  circle,  and  depended  on  the 
fortunate  accident  that  he  discovered  a  monarch  of 
high  character  and  spiritual  receptivity.  Of  really 
popular  elements  his  religion  had  few  ;  and  as  soon 
as  the  Founder  himself  and  his  royal  convert  were 
gone,  the  religious  conditions  of  the  people  largely 
reverted  to  the  previous  level.  Only  the  Prophet's 
name  remained,  and  some  of  the  simpler  conceptions 
of  his  system,  which  were  preserved  by  the  very  fact 

1   Cf.  Bartholomae's  dictum  (Zum  AirWb,  245):  "  The  Later  Avesta 
contains  a  great  deal  that  is  wholly  non-Zoroastrian." 


THE   MAGI  183 

that  they  were  misunderstood,  and  could  therefore 
be  assimilated  to  other  elements  of  a  practically 
undisturbed  polytheism.  The  systematisation  of 
Zarathushtra's  doctrine,  in  a  form  that  in  some  of  its 
most  serious  aspects  really  approximated  to  their 
original,  was  reserved  for  the  age  of  the  Sassanians. 

It  becomes  very  clear  as  we  study  the  Avesta  that 
a  mere  reversion  to  Iranian  polytheism  will  not 
account  for  all  its  features.  The  Yashts  and  Later 
Yasna  are  explained,  apart  from  many  passages 
which  proclaim  themselves  relatively  late  in  the  most 
cursory  examination.  But  the  ritual  portion,  cover 
ing  nearly  all  the  Vendidad  and  cognate  texts,  written 
wholly  in  prose,  cannot  possibly  be  interpreted  from 
sources  that  give  us  Aryan  or  Iranian  religion.  Now 
our  classical  texts  are  unanimous  in  connecting  the 
Persian  religion  with  the  name  of  the  Magi.  Who 
were  they  ?  They  are  absent  altogether  from  the 
Avesta,  one  prose  passage  excepted,  very  obviously 
late ;  but  from  Herodotus  down  they  figure  con 
sistently  in  Greek  and  Latin  writers  as  the  priests  of 
the  Persian  religion.  He  gives  us  as  usual  our  first 
and  best  information.  There  were  six  tribes,  he  says, 
in  Media.  All  the  names  have  been  plausibly  inter 
preted  on  Persian  lines  by  Oppert,  and  again  by 
Carnoy.1  We  are  only  concerned  with  two,  the 
'AptfyvToi  and  the  Mayo*.  The  former  word  is  obvious 
Persian,  Ariyazantava,  "having  Aryan  family" — or 
perhaps  Arizantava,  "having  noble  family."1  We 

1  Dr  Casartelli  has  kindly  called  my  attention  to  an  able  article 
by  Prof.  Carnoy,  of  Louvain,  on  "  Le  Nom  des  Mages,"  Le  Museon, 
n.s.,  ix.  121-158  (1908).  He  discusses  afresh  the  names  of  the  six 
tribes,  regarding  them  all  as  Aryan.  For  'A/oi£avToi  he  would 


should  not  allow  the  word  Aryan  the  wide  connota 
tion  we  generally  give  it :  we  can  hardly  believe  that 
five  out  of  the  six  tribes  were  non- Aryan,  though 
we  may  be  fairly  certain  that  some  of  them  were.  If 
we  take  ariya  here  as  denoting  the  aristocracy  we 
shall  probably  not  be  far  wrong:  the  alternative 
cognate  ari  of  course  means  this  in  any  case. 
It  will  anyhow  mean  the  same  as  it  does  in  the 
Behistan  Inscription  (not  the  Old  Persian  form 
of  it),  where  Auramazda  is  "god  of  the  Aryans." 
The  Magi  are  accordingly  outside  the  ruling  caste: 
whether  they  belong  to  what  we  call  the  Aryans 
or  not  may  be  left  open  for  the  present.  But  we 
might  separate  the  language  question,  remembering 
that  scientifically  we  must  think  of  Aryan  first 
as  a  language  term  exclusively,1  with  freedom  to 

recognise  the  prefix  ari  in  Skt  ari-gurta,  etc.,  so  that  it  is  equivalent 
to  01  a/Horoi.  Names  like  'Aptao-Tr^s,  "  with  strong  horses,"  require 
the  original  sense  of  arya,  while  such  as  'ApiapdOys,  "  friend  of 
Aryans/'  demand  the  derived.  If  we  say  that  the  word  meant 
"noble,"  both  in  the  social  and  in  the  deeper  sense,  we  shall 
probably  be  near  the  truth.  As  I  argue  in  the  text,  "  Aryan " 
did  not  mean  what  we  make  it  mean,  in  any  case.  As  to  Mayot, 
Prof.  Carnoy  urges  that  it  must  fall  into  line  with  the  rest,  which 
he  has  interpreted  as  names  of  social  castes :  his  argument  is 
certainly  plausible,  though  we  can  hardly  expect  assured  proof. 
He  connects  it  with  f^ap,  ^r\^a.vt],  Ma^awv,  which  by  a  careful 
linguistic  analysis  he  brings  into  line  with  the  Gothic  and  Old  Irish 
word  discussed  in  the  Excursus  below  (p.  429).  The  meaning  he 
reaches  is  "  celui  qui  aide,  qui  travaille  a  guerir  et  a  repousser  les 
maux."  This  is  undoubtedly  appropriate  to  the  Magi  as  shamans; 
but  does  it  explain  the  absence  of  the  name  from  the  Avesta  as 
satisfactorily  as  the  explanation  I  venture  below  ? 

1  E.  Meyer  (Gesch.  d.  Alt.,  iii.  28)  thinks  ariya  in  Darius's  usage 
means  the  Old  Persian  language :  it  is  to  Pdrsa  what  "EAA^v  is  to 
Boiwros-  But  I  do  not  think  we  must  exclude  the  possibility  that 
others  beside  the  ruling  caste  spoke  Old  Persian.  Meyer  notes  that 

THE   MAGI  185 

postulate  the  existence  of  various  different  races 
within  the  same  speech  area.  It  is  well  then 
to  remember  that  the  Behistan  Rock  itself,  with  its 
three  languages,  bears  witness  to.  Media  as  a  trilingual 
country.  The  Susianian  or  Elamite  must  have  been 
largely  spoken  within  Media,  as  there  is  no  reason  of 
State  for  including  it.  The  Babylonian  shows  that 
there  was  a  considerable  Semitic  population.  That 
Old  Persian  was  also  spoken  by  a  section  of  the 
common  people  is  highly  probable ;  but  it  must  be 
allowed  that  it  is  the  only  dialect  of  the  three  which 
might  be  there  as  an  official  language.  In  Palestine, 
for  example,  Aramaic  was  the  native  tongue,  Greek 
that  of  all  dealings  with  the  outside  world ;  Latin 
was  there  simply  as  the  official  language  of  the 
government,  which  was  very  likely  understood  by  no 
more  than  a  minute  proportion  of  the  Jews.  I  do 
not  suggest  that  Old  Persian  was  in  the  same  case  in 
Media ;  but  it  is  as  well  to  recall  this  consideration 
that  we  may  not  overestimate  the  predominance  of 
Aryan  speech  there. 

To  this  Aryan  speech  the  name  of  the  Magi  seems 
to  belong.  To  summarise  here  the  results  of  a  more 
technical  detached  note  at  the  end  of  this  book 
(p.  428  f.),  there  appears  to  be  reason  to  believe  that  it 
was  a  name  which  the  Magi  themselves  did  not  use ; 
they  kept  it  out  of  the  Avesta,  except  in  one  passage. 
If  the  other  tribal  names  of  Media  are  Aryan,  as 
is  probable,  there  is  a  presumption  that  this  will  be. 
And  there  happens  to  be  a  phonetically  exact  Indo- 

in  Jischylus,  Choeph.  423,  "Aptov  (a)  means  Persian  (as  the  Scholiast 
explains  it) ;  he  compares  Herod,  vii.  62,  where  it  is  stated  that  the 
Medes  used  to  be  called  "Apioi. 


European  equation  available,  which,  as  I  read  it,  will 
give  the  meaning  "  slave."  It  was,  then,  a  contemp 
tuous  title  given  by  Persian  conquerors  to  a  subjugated 
populace,  and  especially  to  the  caste  which  had 
probably  been  foremost  in  resistance,  as  the  revolt  of 
Gaumata  would  lead  us  to  expect.  We  remember 
how  Cambyses,  when  he  heard  of  the  Magian  revolt, 
adjured  those  present,  and  especially  the  Achgemenians, 
not  to  let  the  kingdom  go  to  the  Medes,  of  whom  the 
Magi  are  simply  a  leading  tribe.1  Compare  also  the 
notice  in  Herodotus,  cited  elsewhere,2  as  to  the 
popularity  of  Gaumata  with  the  native  population. 
The  historian  tells  us 3  that  the  Persians  kept  as  their 
greatest  feast  the  Mayo^oW,4  the  anniversary  of  the  day 
when  Darius  and  his  Six  slew  Gaumata,  and  the  Per 
sians  were  only  stayed  by  darkness  from  massacring 
all  the  Magi.  On  this  Persian  Fifth  of  November 
"  no  Magian  may  appear  in  the  light,  but  they  keep 
within  their  houses  for  this  day,"  having  perhaps 
some  reason  to  fear  another  pogrom.  Ctesias  also 
mentions  this  commemoration,5  which  was  no  doubt 
intended  to  remind  the  subject  population  of  the 
consequences  that  would  follow  if  they  tempted 
fortune  again  with  an  effort  to  throw  off  the  yoke. 
(I  must  not  stay  to  discuss  the  possibility  that  the 

1  Herod,  iii.  65.  2  See  p.  196.  3  Herod,  iii.  79. 

4  So  Herodotus  :  Ctesias  (see  next  note)  makes  it  ynayo<£ovi'a. 

5  Gilmore,  p.    149,  "Ayerai  rots  Ilepo-at?  cop-ny  T^S  /a,ayo<^ovt'as  xaO' 
rjv  2<£evSaSaT7js  6  Muyos  avflpyrai.     (Was  the  name  Ctesias  gives  him 
a  religious  title,  assumed  when  he  ascended  the  throne  ?     "  Maker 
of  holiness    (or   beneficence) "    would   be    suitable ;    and    though 
Ctesias  did  not  go  to  a  Persian  school,  where  TO  aX-rjOtvew  was  third 
subject  in  the  curriculum,  he  can  hardly  have  invented  this  good 
Persian  name  *Spantadata.) 

THE    MAGI  187 

Magophonia  had  a  history  behind  it,  attaching  itself 
to  "  an  old  festival  of  uproarious  character "  under 
cover  of  which  Darius  and  his  comrades  were  enabled 
to  kill  Gaumata.  It  is  worked  out  as  a  theory,  in 
volving  some  exceedingly  interesting  consequences, 
by  Dr  Louis  H.  Gray  in  ERE,  v.  874  f.)  The 
ubiquitous  "  rebellions,"  which  all  the  energy  and 
resources  of  Darius  were  needed  to  quell,  bear 
eloquent  testimony  to  the  strength  of  the  indigenous 
populace.  The  'Apt^avrol  were  probably  the  only 
Median  residents  who  had  kinship  and  sympathy  for 
the  Persians.  The  story  of  the  revolt  leaves  us, 
accordingly,  with  the  impression  that  the  Magi  were 
the  natural  leaders  of  the  indigenous  people  of  Media, 
whether  Aryan  or  non- Aryan  in  language.  We 
might  even  explain  along  these  lines  the  connexion 
between  Magians  and  Chaldaeans,  which  causes  con 
fusion  in  some  classical  writers.1  This  may  arise 
simply  from  the  general  belief  that  the  Magi  re 
presented  the  native,  non-Persian  element. 

Can  we  find  signs  of  the  presence  of  Magi  in  the 
country  before  the  conquest  of  Cyrus  ?  Our  earliest 
Greek  source 2  makes  the  Median  king  Astyages 
consult  "the  oneiromancers  of  the  Magi."  This, 
however,  in  view  of  the  historian's  date,  can  count  for 
little.  But  nearly  two  centuries  earlier  the  Prophet 
Jeremiah 3  includes  a  Rab-Mag  among  a  number  of 
Babylonian  officers  sent  to  Jerusalem  by  Nebuchad 
rezzar  in  586  B.C.  That  this  means  "  Archi-magus  " 
is  at  least  the  most  obvious  and  natural  interpretation  ; 
and  as  it  is  mostly  Semitists  who  question  it,  with 

1  See  Wilhelm,  ZDMG,  xliv.  (1910),  153. 

2  Herod,  i.  107.  3  Jer.  393'13. 


authority  that  I  should  be  the  last  to  dispute,  I  record 
with  satisfaction  that  "  chief  soothsayer "  is  the 
meaning  given  in  the  Oxford  Hebrew  Lexicon. 
Moreover,  according  to  Zimmern  and  Winckler,1  the 
name  of  this  official,  Nergal-Sharezer,2  means  "  Nergal, 
protect  the  King " ;  and  in  their  account  of  Nergal 
they  expressly  compare  Ahriman,  who  they  think 
owed  his  origin  at  least  partially  to  Babylonian  myth 
ology.  The  probability  that  the  specially  Magian 
contribution  to  Avestan  religion  was  coloured  by 
Babylonian  ideas  is  strong,  as  I  shall  show  later 
(p.  238-41).  I  have  observed  already  (p.  135-7) 
that  the  Ahriman  of  the  Vendidad  is  not  the 
figure  of  the  Gathas,  from  which  the  Magi  selected 
a  casual  epithet  and  turned  it  into  a  proper  name. 
The  head  of  a  caste  of  exorcists,  who  by  potent 
charms  can  keep  the  Satan  from  harming  the  king, 
answers  remarkably  well  to  the  Magi  who  exercise 
their  apotropaic  functions  in  Plutarch  (p.  399  f.).  I 
fancy  some  of  the  opposition  arises  from  the  axiom 
roundly  stated  by  Dr  Cheyne,3  that  the  Magi  "  have 
no  place  in  Babylonia" — which  is  just  what  has  to  be 
proved.  The  opinion  of  Dr  C.  H.  W.  Johns4  that 
the  Rab-Mag  may  have  been  "  Master  of  the  horse  in 
the  Assyrian  Court "  must  naturally  carry  great 
weight.  But  perhaps  if  we  can  show  reason  for  ex 
pecting  to  find  Magi,  as  a  priestly  caste,  in  Babylonia 
at  this  date,  the  objection  to  the  most  obvious 
explanation  of  the  name  may  disappear. 

So  far,  then,  we  have  convergent  evidence  which 

1  Schrader,  KAT3,  p.  41 6. 

2  See  Dr  A.  S.  Peake,  Century  Bible,  in  loc. 

3  Enc.  Bibl.,  4000.  *  Enc.  Bibl.,  ibid. 

THE    MAGI  189 

traces  the  Magi  to  Media  and  Jerusalem  respectively 
during  the  last  generation  before  the  accession  of 
Cyrus.  Our  next  item  is  not  concerned  with  their 
name,  but  with  their  characteristic  cultus,  in  a  detail 
which  we  can  prove  to  be  peculiar  to  them.  Ezekiel 
describes  in  ch.  8  a  series  of  "  abominations "  taking 
place  in  the  Temple  at  Jerusalem,  the  date  being 
accordingly  a  little  earlier  than  that  at  which  we  have 
just  seen  the  Chief  Magus  in  the  suite  of  the  Assyrian 
general  there  :  the  vision  itself  is  dated  591  B.C.,  but 
the  practices  in  question  may  be  either  contempo 
raneous  or  earlier.  First  comes  a  debased  animal- 
worship  ;  then,  as  a  "  greater  abomination."  the  women 
weeping  for  Tammuz  ;  finally,  as  greatest  abomination 
of  all,  some  twenty-five  men  with  their  backs  turned 
to  the  Temple,  worshipping  the  sun  toward  the  east, 
"  and  lo,  they  put  the  branch  to  their  nose."  Inter 
preters,  from  the  LXX  down,  seem  to  have  made 
nothing  out  of  this  last  clause.  The  recognition  of 
the  Magi  here  supplies  a  perfectly  simple  key.  Taking 
Ezekiel's  phrase  as  it  stands,  we  see  in  the  rite  a  very 
natural  concomitant  of  sun-worship.  In  many  forms 
of  primitive  religion  the  cultus  of  sun  and  of  trees  is 
closely  united ;  and  the  holding  of  a  bough  before 
the  face  when  worshipping  the  sun  is  likely  enough 
to  have  been  the  starting-point  of  the  usage,  which 
meets  us  next  in  a  developed  form.  Now  we  have 
various  notices  from  antiquity  which  connect  the 
Magi  with  the  ritual  use  of  "  rods  "  (pd/3Soi).  They 
were  said  by  Deinon l  to  divine  with  them :  the 
scholiast  who  quotes  him  for  us  adds  that  they  were 

1  C.   350  B.C.   (Miiller,  Fragm.  Hist.   Graze.,  ii.  91).     Notice  that 
Demon  does  not  call  them  Magi,  but  "  Median  soothsayers." 


of  tamarisk.  This  detail  appears  in  Strabo  (xv.  14), 
who  tells  us  that  in  Cappadocia  the  Magi  guarded  a 
perpetual  fire,  before  which  for  an  hour  every  day 

they  chant,  rrjv  Sea-/mr)v  ru)v  pafiStov   e^oi/re?.1      This  would 

have  been  recognised  without  hesitation  as  the  ex 
planation  of  Ezk.  816>  17'  had  not  the  obvious  difficulty 
of  seeing  Parsism  in  Jerusalem  at  the  beginning  of 
the  sixth  century  B.C.  forced  the  commentators  to 
look  elsewhere.  But  the  very  phraseology  of  the 
ritual  betrays  the  fact  that  we  are  not  dealing  with 
Parsism  at  all,  although  we  are  recognising  a  rite 
identical  with  the  use  of  the  barsom  which  Parsi 
priests  still  hold  to  the  face  as  they  minister  before 
the  sacred  fire.2  The  Avestan  bailsman  is  cognate 
with  bar9zis,  "  cushion,"  Skt  barhis,  the  carpet  of 
grass  on  which  the  flesh  of  the  offering  was  laid.  We 
have  already  seen  (p.  68  f.)  that  this  form  of  sacrifice 
was  Persian  as  well  as  Indian.  In  the  Avesta,  where 
a  bundle  of  twigs  held  in  the  hands  is  substituted 
for  the  mat  of  tender  grass  described  by  Herodotus 
(p.  394  f.  below),  the  wholly  incongruous  verb  star,  "  to 
spread,"  is  used  to  describe  the  putting  together  of 
the  barsom — a  clear  reminiscence  of  the  very  different 
usage  on  which  the  Magi  grafted  their  own  cult 
instrument.  The  notice  in  Ezekiel  is  reinforced  by 
Dr  Gray  with  a  very  plausible  allusion  in  Isaiah  (1710, 
"  cuttings  of  an  alien  God "),  where,  however,  the 

1  See  the  whole  passage  below,  p.  409. 

2  A  full  account  of  the  ritual  is  given  by  Prof.  Mills  and  Dr  L.  H. 
Gray  in  ERE,  ii.   424-  f.     See  also    the  interesting  description  of 
Prof.  Jackson  (Persia  Past  and  Present,  369  f-)>  who  adds  a  plate  of 
the  fresh  green  tamarisk  sprays  he  saw  thus  used  by  the  Parsis  at 
Yezd  :  the  picture  takes  us  nearer  to  the  use  of  twenty-five  centuries 
ago  than  any  descriptions  we  have  from  the  interval. 

THE    MAGI  191 

context  is  not  so  clear.  It  may  be  noted,  however, 
that  there  is  a  remarkable  coincidence  with  Ezekiel, 
if  we  read  the  Isaiah  passage  according  to  Dr  Gray's 
suggestion.  The  "  plantings  of  Adonis  " l  answer  to 
the  Tammuz  or  Adonis  worship  in  Ezekiel,  and  the 
"  slips  of  a  strange  god  "  to  the  "  branch  held  to  the 
nose "  by  Magian  sun-worshippers.  Each  prophet 
thus  points  his  denunciation  of  idolatry  by  bringing 
together  two  heathen  cults,  and  the  same  two — one 
that  of  the  vegetation  spirit,  the  other  that  of  the  sun, 
adorned  with  an  emblem  which  itself  showed  how 
closely  kin  they  both  were.2 

That  in  these  Biblical  passages  the  Magian  cultus 
appears  in  company  with  usages  derived  from  Baby 
lon  or  other  parts  of  the  Semitic  world  is  quite  in 
keeping  with  probabilities  otherwise  ascertained :  in 
digenous  dwellers  in  Media  and  Babylonia,  they  had, 
as  we  have  seen,  a  definite  status  in  Babylon,  as  well 
as  at  the  Median  court.  Indeed,  we  may  even 
question  whether  we  are  not  to  seek  for  their  origin 
further  afield.  Their  most  characteristic  features  are 
not  at  all  Semitic.  The  method  of  disposing  of 
corpses — and  there  are  few  racial  features  more  per 
manent  than  those  concerning  the  treatment  of  the 
dead — is  as  little  Aryan  as  it  is  Semitic,  if  we  are  to 

1  See  Dr  G.  B.  Gray  in  loc.  (Internal.  Crit.  Comm.),  and  Prof.  J.  G. 
Frazer,  Adonis,  Attis,  Osiris  z,  ch.  x. 

2  It  will  be  seen  how  superfluous  is  the  emendation  (?)  of  the 
Hebrew  text  offered  by  Prof.  C.   H.  Toy  in  Enc.  Bibl.,  ii.    1463.     I 
should  note  perhaps  that  I  gave  this  explanation  of  the  Ezekiel 
passage  in  1892  (The  Thinker,  ii.  492)  :  I  probably  got  it  from  Haug, 
Essays,  p.  4.    The  interpretation  is  accepted  by  Prof.  Jackson  (Persia, 
I.e.)  and  Dr  L.  H.  Gray  (ERE,  ii.  424  n.).     So  also  Mr  J.  J.  Modi, 
King  Solomon's  Temple  and  the  Ancient  Persians  (Bombay,  1908),  p.  40. 


determine  Aryan  custom  by  the  practice  of  Iranians 
where  it  agrees  with  that  of  Indo-Aryans.  It  is 
characteristic  of  various  barbarous  tribes  north  of  the 
35th  parallel  and  lying  between  the  45th  and  70th 
meridian.  In  Strabo's  eleventh  book  we  have  at 
least  three  cases  which  have  a  general  similarity. 
The  Massagetse  cast  out  those  who  have  died  from 
disease,  to  be  devoured  by  wild  beasts  (p.  513).  The 
Bactrians  are  somewhat  more  civilised  (jmiKpov  r}/mepu>- 
repa  ra  TM  BaKTpiavwv  [$V])  than  the  nomad  tribes, 
but  Onesicritus  (ol  irepl  'Ovria-LKpirov],  who  accompanied 
Alexander,  says  that  those  who  were  enfeebled  by 
age  or  illness  were  cast  alive  to  dogs  kept  for  the 
purpose,  called  evraipiaa-Tai,  and  the  chief  city  of  the 
Bactrians  is  clean  outside,  but  inside  is  full  of  dead 
men's  bones.  Alexander  stopped  this  custom  (p.  517). 
The  Caspii  in  the  Caucasus  starved  their  septua 
genarians  to  death  and  exposed  their  bodies  in  the 
desert.  It  was  a  good  sign  if  birds  dragged  them 
from  the  bier,  less  good  if  beasts  or  dogs :  if  no 
creature  touched  them,  they  made  it  a  bad  sign  (KUKO- 
§ai/j.ovi'(ov(TL,  p.  520).  Two  parallels  may  be  quoted 
from  districts  lying  on  or  near  the  frontier  of  India. 
Aristobulus  (ap.  Strabo,  p.  714)  gives  TO  yvty  p'nrTea-Qai 
TOV  -reTeXevrrjKOTa  among  the  customs  current  in  Taxila 
on  the  upper  Indus,  in  curious  juxtaposition  with 
suttee,  for  which,  however,  he  does  not  vouch  so 
positively.  It  comes  also  among  the  Oreitae,  a  wild 
mountain  tribe  in  Baluchistan,  as  noted  by  Prof. 
Otto  Schrader ;  and  there  is  an  interesting  detailed 
resemblance  in  the  accompanying  ritual.1  In  ancient 

1  ERE,  ii.  16,  quoting  Diodorus,  xvii.  105  :  "the  kinsmen  of  the 
dead    bear    forth    the    bodies,  going    naked    and    carrying   spears. 

THE   MAGI  193 

India,  Prof.  Rhys  Davids  observes,1  "  people  exposed 
corpses  to  be  destroyed  by  decay  and  birds  and  beasts. 
Children,  bhikkus,  kings,  and  Brahmans  were  burnt. 
Burial  is  not  mentioned."  As  there  is  nothing 
answering  to  this  in  Europe,  we  have  no  reason  to 
suppose  that  the  practice  was  Indo-European.  It  is 
not  likely  therefore  to  be  proto-Aryan,  even  though 
found  among  nomad  tribes  speaking  Aryan  languages  : 
it  seems  essentially  aboriginal.  The  same  may  be 
said  of  other  Magian  practices.  We  may  safely 
regard  them  as  an  aboriginal  folk,  who  retained  under 
the  influence  of  religion  usages  which  were  generated 
in  a  low  state  of  culture.  They  gained,  it  would 
seem,  a  reputation  for  occult  powers  among  tribes 
more  advanced  than  themselves ;  and  the  retention 
of  their  characteristic  customs  was  bound  up  with 
this  reputation  and  the  profitable  results  of  it.  That 
an  inferior  race  may  enjoy  such  privileges  as  power 
ful  shamans,  can  be  shown  from  parallels  elsewhere.2 
Prof.  J.  G.  Frazer  cites  for  me  the  case  of  the  Kur- 
umbas  on  the  Nilgiri  Hills.  These  aborigines  are 
employed  as  priests  by  the  Badagas,  who  dread  them 

Having  laid  the  corpse  in  a  coppice  such  as  they  have  in  their  country, 
they  strip  off  the  apparel  (KOO-/AOV)  that  is  on  it,  and  leave  the  dead 
man's  body  to  be  devoured  by  wild  beasts."  A  corpse-bearer  in 
the  Vendidad  (810)  must  be  naked  :  modern  usage  understands  this 
to  mean  that  he  must  substitute  "  Dakhma  clothes"  (Darmesteter 
in  loc.).  The  stripping  of  the  corpse  itself  is  also  (naturally)  a  feature 
of  the  Parsi  procedure.  See  the  full  account  by  Prof.  Soderblom  in 
ERE,  iv.  502-5,  where  other  savage  parallels  are  cited. 

1  In  a  letter  to  me  (Oct.  1912) :  he  refers  to  his  Buddhist  India, 
pp.  78-80.    "  The  period  is  about  6th  century  B.C.  to  3rd  century  A.D." 

2  I  repeat  here  some  material  from  my  paper  in  the  Transactions 
of  the  Third  International   Congress  for  the  History  of  Religions 
(Oxford,  1908),  ii.  92. 



intensely,  though  strong  enough  to  have  perpetrated 
Mayo(p6via  on  a  large  scale  when  convinced  that  the 
Kurumbas  were  bewitching  them.  Similarly  in  New 
Guinea  "  the  Motu  (immigrants)  employ  the  Koitapu 
(aborigines)  as  sorcerers  to  heal  their  sick,  to  give 
them  fine  weather,  etc.  The  aboriginals,  as  such,  are 
believed  to  have  full  powers  over  the  elements."  Of 
course,  the  Magi  may  well  have  risen  in  the  scale  of 
culture  since  they  first  secured  this  reputation  for 
mysterious  power :  the  parallel  case  of  the  Brahmans 
in  India  will  serve  as  an  illustration.  The  success  of 
these  foreign  shamans  in  securing  a  monopoly  of  the 
priesthood  for  a  cultus  wholly  alien  to  their  own  is 
no  difficulty  when  we  consider  the  conditions.  The 
Aryan  Medes  and  Persians  had  known  them  for  gener 
ations  as  skilled  magicians  and  occultists  ;  and  when 
they  volunteered  for  the  work  of  the  Persian  aOravan 
and  zaotar,  which  was  confined  to  no  special  class,1 
the  people  would  feel  that  they  had  a  special  guarantee 
of  correct  and  effective  ritual.  It  would  be  like  the 
case  of  Micah,  who  exclaimed,  "  Now  know  I  that 
Yahweh  will  do  me  good,  seeing  I  have  a  Levite  to 
my  priest  "  (Judges  1713).  He  could  have  performed 
the  ritual  himself,  but  it  would  now  be  much  more 
certain  to  secure  what  he  wished  from  it. 

At  this  point  it  will  be  well  to  leave  the  Greek 
sources  for  the  Persian.  The  Behistan  Inscription 
tells  us  in  detail  about  the  usurpation  of  Gaumata 
the  Magus,  who  pretended  to  be  Bardiya  (2/xe^t?  in 
Greek),  the  younger  son  of  Cyrus.  Darius  says  that 
Bardiya  was  slain  by  Cambyses,  his  brother,  the  people 
not  knowing  of  it.  When  Cambyses  went  to  Egypt, 

1  Cf.  Ys  II6  and  1016  (Geiger). 

THE    MAGI  195 

"  the  Lie  "  broke  out  in  Persia,  Media,  and  the  other 
provinces.  Gaumata  appeared  from  Pishiyauvada, 
from  the  mountain  Arkadri :  the  former  is  often 
supposed  to  be  Haa-apydSai  in  Persia.  All  the  people 
went  over  to  him,  and  Cambyses  slew  himself.  The 
sovranty  which  Gaumata  thus  took  from  Cambyses 
had  been  from  long  time  past  in  the  Acheemenian 
family.  No  one,  Persian  or  Mede  or  Achfemenian, 
could  depose  Gaumata,  whom  the  people  feared,  lest 
he  should  slay  the  many  who  had  known  the  real 
Bardiya.  At  last  Darius  called  on  Auramazda  for 
help,  and  it  was  given :  "  with  few  men "  he  slew 
Gaumata  and  his  foremost  allies,  in  the  Median 
province  of  Nisaya.  Darius  names  his  six  comrades 
in  the  perilous  enterprise  towards  the  end  of  the 
Inscription  (iv.  18).  Here,  as  in  the  other  essentials 
of  the  story,  Herodotus  is  accurate,  except  for  one  of 
the  six  Persians'  names,  and  the  omission  of  the  name 
of  Gaumata,  who  is  simply  "  the  Magus."  And  even 
in  the  name  which  Herodotus  wrongly  inserts  among 
the  Six,  we  find  that  his  mistake  lay  only  in  promoting 
too  high  a  man  who  in  an  inscription  at  Naks-i-rustam 
(NR  d)  figures  as  "bow-bearer  (?)  of  Darius."  It  is 
clear  that  the  historian  was  remarkably  well  supplied 
with  authentic  evidence  as  to  events  lying  two  genera 
tions  before  his  own  day. 

One  or  two  of  Darius's  comments  on  Gaumata 
may  be  noted  before  we  pass  on.  It  is  said  that 
Darius  restored  "  sanctuaries  which  Gaumata  the 
Magian  destroyed."  I  have  discussed  elsewhere  the 
nature  of  these  ayadanH,  which  are  not  necessarily 
to  be  taken  as  shrines  of  the  king's  own  religion. 
The  Magian  usurper,  as  was  natural  in  a  priest  seizing 


temporal  power,  seems  to  have  tried  to  stamp  out 
the  invading  Aryan  cultus,  and  very  likely  Semitic 
worship  as  well,  so  as  to  leave  the  indigenous  cult 
without  rival.  Darius  in  restoring  the  temples  of 
other  religions,  together  perhaps  with  his  own,  was 
only  acting  with  the  statesmanlike  tolerance  we  have 
seen  in  him  already.  Darius  mentions  four  other 
restorations  he  accomplished,  but  these  seem  to  be 
unconnected  with  religion.  From  Herodotus  (iii.  67) 
we  add  the  significant  statement  that  the  Magian 
"  did  great  benefits  to  all  his  subjects,  so  that  when 
he  died  he  was  lamented  by  all  in  Asia  except  the 
Persians  themselves  "  —that  is,  presumably,  the  Aryan 
minority,  whose  unwelcome  yoke  the  aboriginal  Medes 
thought  they  had  shaken  off.1  The  long  succession 
of  revolts  which  Darius  had  to  quell  within  the  first 
year  or  two  after  his  accession  has  already  been  called 
as  evidence  that  the  Acheemenian  House  had  no 
popularity  to  start  with  :  after  eight  years  of  Cambyses 
this  was  not  strange.  The  Magian's  usurpation  was 
essentially  an  attempt  to  regain  the  ascendancy  his 
caste  had  enjoyed  under  Median  kings:  see  Hdt.  i.  120. 
As  we  have  seen,  it  is  not  much  less  than  a  century 
later  when  we  begin  to  hear  of  the  Magi  again.  I 
have  been  using  Herodotus  already,  but  only  for  the 
history  of  a  political  event :  what  he  tells  us  about 
the  religious  position  of  the  Magi  evidently  comes 
from  observation  in  a  later  period.  From  the  first  the 
Greek  writers  assume  that  the  Magi  were  priests, 
with  special  skill  in  divination  and  oneiromancy. 
They  were  already  essential  for  all  priestly  acts,  and 

1  The  historian  shows  he  had  information  from  popular  sources, 
and  not  only  from  nobles. 

THE   MAGI  197 

identified  thoroughly  with  the  Persian  religious 
system.  Moreover,  from  the  fourth  century  down 
there  are  frequent  allusions  to  Zoroaster  himself  as 
a  Magus,  and  many  of  the  foremost  modern  authori 
ties  have  accepted  this  as  probably  true.  It  is,  of 
course,  admitted  that  no  such  assertion  is  made  about 
him  till  between  two  and  three  centuries  after  the 
traditional  date  of  his  death,  which,  as  we  have  seen 
(p.  17  f. ),  is  the  minimum,  antiquity  we  can  allow  him. 
In  that  period  there  was  plenty  of  time  for  a  mistaken 
identification  to  arise ;  and  if  my  general  theory  is 
right  the  Magi  would  of  course  make  it  a  central 
point  of  their  policy  to  claim  the  Founder  as  one  of 
themselves.  Their  chance  of  regaining  power,  of 
winning  the  position  which  Herodotus  so  truthfully 
makes  them  claim  in  their  conversation  with  Astyages, 
was  obviously — when  the  direct  method  of  Gaumata 
had  failed — to  persuade  the  people  that  they  were 
necessary  to  them  for  the  due  performance  of  the 
rites  of  a  common  religion.  For  this  purpose  they 
had  to  minimise  the  differences  between  their  own 
religion  and  that  into  which  they  tried  to  insinuate 
themselves.  Their  ancient  reputation  as  a  sacred 
caste,  already  secure  for  many  generations  among  the 
non-Aryan  Medes,  would  win  them  easy  entrance 
among  the  followers  of  a  religion  which  in  those  days 
was  ready  to  receive  proselytes  from  any  race.1  Once 
thus  established,  they  would  point  out  that  Zara- 
thushtra,  who  had  certainly  performed  some  priestly 
functions  (p.  116),  was  a  Magus,  and  had  handed 

1  In  the  Gathas  we  have  the  Turanian  Fryana  accepted  by 
Zarathushtra  as  one  of  the  faithful.  See  Ys  4612,  and  Wilhelm's 
notes,  ZDMG,  xliv.  151. 


down  to  them  sacred  lore.  The  guardianship  of  the 
Gathas  would  be  claimed  by  them,  and  readily  con 
ceded  when  the  Magian  bona  fides  was  once  accepted. 
And  so  the  enlargement  of  the  Avesta,  by  the 
addition  of  a  codified  Law,  was  only  a  matter  of 
time.  We  shall  not,  I  think,  be  far  wrong  if  we 
assume  for  a  working  hypothesis  that  the  verse  parts 
of  the  Avesta  were  preserved  by  them  and  the  prose 
parts  composed  by  them.  At  present  it  will  be 
enough  to  point  out  how  entirely  congruous  the  ritual 
element  in  the  Avesta  is  with  the  general  character 
of  Magian  religion,  and  how  incongruous  with  the 
spirit  of  the  Yashts,  still  more  with  that  of  the  Gathas. 
Incongruities  in  detail  will  come  out  as  we  proceed. 

First,  however,  let  me  try  to  present  the  features 
of  Magian  religion  which  the  priests  could  emphasise 
as  common  to  them  and  the  adherents  of  Iranian 
Mazdayasna.  The  picture  of  pure  Magianism  which 
we  have  secured  from  Ezekiel  (p.  189  f.)  includes  sun- 
worship  with  eastward  position,  and  the  use  of  the 
barsom.  Now  this  last,  as  we  have  seen,  is  an  adapta 
tion  of  Iranian  usage.  If  we  may  take  "  the  branch  " 
literally,  original  Magian  use  involved  holding  a 
bough  up  to  the  face  during  the  act  of  adoration 
towards  the  sun.  The  symbolism  is  obvious  and 
natural.  The  Magi  found  the  adherents  of  the  un- 
reformed  Iranian  cultus  laying  their  offerings  on  a 
carefully  strewn  carpet  of  green  stalks.  They  had 
only  to  emphasise  the  sacredness  of  this  bar9zis,1  and 
so  gather  a  number  of  these  stalks  in  the  hand  to 
present  before  the  deity  :  the  application  of  a  variant 

1  I  assume  that  the  Iranian  word  once  meant  what  its  Indian 
equivalent  meant. 

THE   MAGI  199 

form  of  the  old  name  completed  the  identification, 
and  the  old  use  faded  away  before  it.  Not  immedi 
ately,  however,  for  we  remember  that  it  was  still 
in  vogue  among  the  Persians  when  Herodotus  was 
gathering  information,  though  the  Magi  had  long 
established  themselves  in  the  monopoly  of  priesthood. 
That  will  serve  to  remind  us  how  cautious  they  were 
in  attempting  to  innovate.  Of  course  we  may  leave 
open  the  possibility  that  in  some  other  part  of  Iran 
the  barsom  was  in  earlier  use.  The  Sun  would  be  an 
obvious  link  to  bind  together  religions  even  more 
distinct  than  the  Magian  and  the  Iranian,  reformed 
or  unreformed.  One  difficulty  may  be  named.  In 
Herodotus  (vii.  37)  the  Magi  comfort  Xerxes  in  his 
alarm  at  the  portent  of  a  solar  eclipse  by  telling  him 
that  the  sun  was  TrpoSeKTwp  for  the  Greeks,  but  the 
moon  for  themselves.  This  seems  to  imply  simply 
that  divination  in  Hellas  depended  on  the  sun — were 
they  relying  on  the  solar  elements  (real  or  apparent)  in 
Apollo  ? — and  among  the  Persians  on  the  moon.  In 
Babylonian  religion  Sin  (the  moon)  takes  precedence 
of  Shamash  (the  sun),1  but  this  will  hardly  help  us. 
More  to  the  point  is  perhaps  the  importance  of  the 
moon  in  its  connexion  with  the  Urkuh.  Could  we 
be  more  assured  of  the  antiquity  of  the  identification 
of  Soma  and  the  moon,  we  might  regard  this  as  a 
hopeful  solution.  I  cannot  suggest  anything  com 
pletely  satisfactory,  assuming  that  the  historian's 
notice  is  correct :  it  is  too  strange  to  have  been  in 
vented.  But  perhaps  we  may  infer  that  in  any  case 
the  sagacious  Magi  were  depending  on  a  Persian 
connotation  of  the  moon  as  foretelling  the  future, 

1  Jastrow,  Relig.  of  Babylonia  (1898),  68. 


leaving  us  free  to  believe  that  their  own  reverence 
was  paid  primarily  to  the  sun.  The  sun,  of  course, 
took  one  of  the  first  places  of  honour  in  all  the  phases 
of  religion  that  we  are  discussing  now ;  and  we  do 
not  need  to  assume  that  it  was  the  first  place  for  all 
purposes  that  was  assigned  to  the  moon  in  these 
words,  but  only  a  special  connexion  with  divination. 
Since  the  Magi  were  so  specially  concerned  with 
interpretation  of  dreams,  there  is  appropriateness  in 
the  function  assigned  to  the  queen  of  the  night. 

Closely  akin  to  this  is  the  honour  paid  to  Fire. 
This  was  one  of  the  proto-Aryan  divinities,  as 
appears  from  Herodotus  (i.  131),  and  from  the 
Vedic  cult  of  Agni.  Zarathushtra  himself  had  re 
tained  this  element  in  the  religion,  in  so  far  that 
he  had  made  Fire  the  foremost  emblem  of  Deity, 
and  the  instrument  of  the  eschatological  *'  Regenera 
tion."  If  then  the  Magi  were  in  any  sense  fire- 
worshippers — to  the  same  extent,  for  example,  as 
the  Scyths,  with  whom  the  Magi,  if  Iranians,1  may 

1  It  should  not,  perhaps,  be  assumed  too  confidently  that  the 
Scyths  were  Iranian  in  anything  but  language.  Prof.  J.  G.  Frazer 
(Adonis,  Attis,  Osiris  2,  246)  says  that  "  the  Scythians  seem  to  have 
been  a  Mongolian  people.''  He  brings  an  exceedingly  close 
Mongolian  parallel  for  the  ghastly  funeral  custom  ascribed  by 
Herodotus  (iv.  71  f.)  to  the  Scyths.  As  an  argument  for  the 
Mongolian  affinity  of  the  Scythians,  it  is  discounted  by  other  near 
parallels — Chinese,  Patagonian,  etc.  —  quoted  in  this  context  by 
Dr  Frazer :  he  does  not  however  cite  the  custom  in  proof  of  the 
affinity,  which  he  simply  states,  without  reasons,  as  probable.  But 
it  must  be  noted  against  this  that  Prof.  O.  Schrader,  who  on  such 
a  subject  has  paramount  authority,  speaks  of  "  the  Scythians,  who, 
ethnographically,  seem  to  represent  a  part  of  the  primitive  Iranian 
race,  left  behind  or  scattered  westward,  and  who  remained  in  more 
primitive  conditions  of  culture  "  (ERE,  ii.  16). 

THE   MAGI  201 

well  have  been   kin — they  would   find  here  a  very 
obvious  point  d'appui. 

Two  remaining  points  of  contact  may  be  put 
together  in  a  sentence  drawn  from  the  conclusion 
of  Wilhelm's  important  paper  on  "  Priests  and 
Heretics  in  Ancient  Iran"  (ZDMG,  xliv.  142-153). 
He  assumes  that  when  the  Avesta  was  written 
all  Iranians  were  united  in  the  worship  of  Ahura 
Mazdah,  and  perhaps  even  leaned  towards  Dualism  ; 
but  the  people  of  West  and  South  Iran  had  another 
"bran  of  Dualism  in  which  the  cult  of  the  stars  took 
a  more  conspicuous  place  than  it  does  in  the  Avesta. 
Some  of  the  details  here  may  perhaps  invite  amend 
ment,  but  the  essence  of  the  sentence  contains,  I 
think,  a  central  truth.  All  independent  references 
to  the  Magi  make  much  of  their  astrology.  It  will 
be  remembered  that  popular  etymology  interpreted 
the  name  of  Zarathushtra  himself  as  aa-rpo6vr^  (p.  77). 
But  apart  from  the  special  cult  of  Tishtrya  and  his 
fellow -regents,  we  find  very  little  star-lore  in  the 
Avesta :  there  is,  however,  just  enough  to  make 
the  connexion.  As  to  Dualism,  we  saw  above 
(p.  125  f.)  that  we  cannot  use  the  term  to  describe 
Zarathushtra's  theology,  except  by  defining  it  in  our 
own  way.  But  the  Magi  may  very  well  have  been 
real  adherents  of  a  dualist  view  of  the  world.  In 
the  parts  of  the  Avesta  which  we  have  provisionally 
assigned  to  them,  nothing  is  more  patent  than  the 
mechanical  division  of  the  world  between  creatures 
of  the  good  Power  and  creatures  of  the  evil.  There 
is  a  very  marked  difference  in  spirit  from  the  treat 
ment  of  the  subject  in  the  Gathas.  As  we  see 
elsewhere  (p.  131),  Zarathushtra's  own  doctrine  of 


Evil  amounted  only  to  a  strengthening  of  the  old 
Iranian  doctrine  of  Truth  as  the  highest  virtue,  with 
Falsehood  as  the  sum  of  all  evil.  To  that  source 
of  every  wrong  the  Prophet  attached  a  descriptive 
title,  Angra  Mainyu,  which,  however,  he  did  not 
make  into  a  real  name.  The  fiend  might  almost  as 
well  have  been  called  Aesma  Daeva  (A.<rjuo(Wo9)  on 
the  indications  of  the  Gathas  alone.  It  seems  a 
reasonable  conjecture  that  the  Magi  commended 
their  own  dogma  of  a  division  of  the  world  between 
good  and  evil  powers  —  a  mere  relic  of  animism, 
which  gave  birth  to  a  dreary  ritual  of  apotropaic 
spells  -  -  by  adapting  the  Gathic  titles  of  Ahura 
Mazdah  and  Angra  Mainyu.  The  latter  name,  in 
fact,  waited  for  the  Magian  counter-reformation  to 
give  it  currency :  its  presence  is  a  sure  sign  not  so 
much  of  Zarathushtrian  religion  as  of  Magian  adapta 
tion  of  the  same. 

There  are  two  points  in  which  the  classical  writers 
testify  with  great  clearness  to  a  radical  difference 
between  the  Magi  and  the  Persians.  They  are  ex 
pressed  together  in  a  sentence  of  Strabo  (p.  735) : 

Toi/f  (5e  Mayou?  ov  OcnrTOvcriv  aAX'  oi(0i>o/3pu)TOv$  euxri'  TOVTOVS 
Se  KOI  fj.tjTpd(Ti  (Tvvep^ecrOaL  vev6/ULt<TTai.  The  first  of  these 

may  depend  on  Herodotus  (i.  140,  see  p.  398),  though 
the  omission  of  the  dogs,  which  Herodotus  and  the 
Vendidad  couple  with  the  carrion  birds,  may  possibly 
be  significant.  Strabo  may  have  seen  the  "  Tower 
of  Silence"  much  as  it  is  to-day,  with  vultures 
alone  to  operate.  Herodotus,  as  we  see  elsewhere, 
insists  that  the  Persians  bury  their  dead,  after  cover 
ing  them  over  with  wax,  possibly  as  a  preserva 
tive  :  he  is  very  emphatic  on  the  difference  here 

THE   MAGI  203 

between  Magi  and  Persians.  This,  of  course,  en 
tirely  agrees  with  the  patent  fact  that  the  Achae- 
menian  Kings  themselves  were  buried.  We  may 
add  another  instance  of  burial  from  Herodotus,  vii. 
117.  While  Xerxes  was  at  Acanthus,  a  member  of 
the  Achasmenian  house  named  Artachases  died,  a 
man  of  immense  stature  and  powerful  voice.  All 
the  army  joined  to  make  a  barrow  for  him,  and 
he  was  buried  with  great  pomp.  In  obedience  to 
an  oracle  the  Acanthians  sacrifice  to  him  <J>?  rjpcoi, 
eTTovo/uLcifyvTes  TO  ovvo/u.a.  One  is  tempted  to  recognise 
here  the  familiar  sacrifice  of  the  Yashts,  aoyto- 
namana  yasna,  "  with  a  worship  in  which  the  name 
is  invoked."  As  a  foil  to  these  genuine  Iranian 
usages,  we  have  the  tremendous  emphasis  with  which 
the  Vendidad  thunders  against  any  defiling  of  the 
sacred  earth  or  sacred  waters  by  contact  with  a 
corpse.  In  Farg.  I13  the  burial  of  a  corpse  is  a 
"  sin  without  atonement"  (anaparaQa) :  it  is  Angra 
Mainyu's  counter- creation  to  "  the  beautiful  Harah- 
vaiti "  or  Arachosia.  It  is  noteworthy  that  this  land, 
where  the  Magian  writer  complains  that  so  heinous 
a  sin  is  rife,  lies  on  the  confines  of  Iran  towards 
India.  In  Farg.  312  the  joy  of  Earth  is  greatest 
where  pious  men  have  dug  out  most  corpses  of  dogs 
or  men.  Quotations  could  be  multiplied.  In  the 
original  Median  folk-tale  underlying  Tobit  we  shall 
see  good  reason  to  recognise  in  the  heroes,  father 
and  son,  the  faithful  performance  of  this  duty  towards 
the  sacred  Earth.  Here  then  we  can  realise  with 
complete  assurance  the  establishment  of  a  rite  which 
belonged  peculiarly  to  the  Magi,  and  did  not  prevail 
among  orthodox  Zoroastrians  till  after  our  era,  if 


we  may  judge  by  Strabo's  evidence.  Probably  we 
should  say  till  the  Sassanian  era,  for  the  drastic 
religious  changes  which  took  place  under  those 
zealot  kings  are  the  first  obvious  opportunity  for 
an  innovation  evidently  most  distasteful.  The  cor 
ollary  suggests  itself  that  the  prose  Vendidad  may 
have  been  composed  in  that  age  :  on  this  see  p.  198. 

The  other  Magian  custom  horrified  the  Greeks 
to  much  the  same  degree.  If  Xanthus  Lydus  can 
be  relied  upon,  they  knew  of  it  as  a  peculiarity  of 
the  Magi  as  early  as  the  fifth  century  B.C.1  This  is 
rather  doubtfully  endorsed  by  Herodotus  when  he 
remarks  (iii.  31)  that  before  Cambyses  the  Persians 
were  not  wont  to  marry  their  sisters.  The  form  of 
the  phrase  rather  suggests  that  Herodotus  knew  such 
a  practice  to  be  current  at  a  later  time.  But  he  does 
not  mention  the  Magi  in  connexion  with  this,  and 
his  silence  suggests  that  he  did  not  know  of  the 
practice  as  one  prescribed  by  any  body  of  teachers 
in  the  Persian  Empire.  The  Xanthus  fragment, 
decidedly  our  earliest  witness  for  Greek  knowledge 
of  the  matter,  suggests  some  suspicion  through  the 
exaggeration  of  the  statement  :  it  may  even  mean 
that  Xanthus  also  knew  of  Magian  practice  only  by 

1  Ap.  Clem.  Alex.,  Strom.,  iii.  §  11  (p.  515):  fuyvwrai  Se, 
01  fJidyoL  fj.v)Tpd(ri  KO!  KT\.  The  extract,  said  to  come  from 
the  MaytKo,  goes  on  to  accuse  the  Magi  of  practical  promiscuity. 
Miiller  (Fragm.  Hist.  Grcec.,  \.  43)  declares  the  fragment  inconsistent 
with  that  preserved  by  Nicolaus  Damascenus.  I  do  not  quite  see 
why.  But  there  are  weaker  points  about  it  than  this.  On  the 
authenticity  of  the  Xanthus  fragments  in  general,  see  the  note  on 
Diogenes  Procem.  below,  p.  412.  Naturally,  the  fragments  need 
not  be  accepted  or  rejected  en  bloc  :  we  may  claim  liberty  to  take 
them  one  at  a  time. 

THE   MAGI  205 

hearsay.  Probably  the  Magi  began  their  propaganda 
generations  later,  whatever  their  private  practice 
was.  In  regard  of  this  custom,  modern  Parsism, 
which  has  preserved  the  dakhma  —  an  eminently 
sanitary,  inexpensive,  and  even  decorous  provision  in 
a  country  where  vultures  may  be  commanded,  how 
ever  repulsive  on  the  first  impression — has  repudiated 
the  khvetuk-das  as  heartily  as  any  outsider  could 
expect.  The  fullest  argument  against  the  imputa 
tion  that  incestuous  marriages  were  belauded  as 
•i  religious  duty,  whether  in  the  Avesta  or  in  the 
Pahlavi  books,  may  be  seen  in  a  monograph  by  the 
distinguished  editor  of  the  Dinkart,  Darab  Dastur 
Peshotan  Sanjana,  Next-of-kin  Marriages  in  Old 
Iran  (London,  1888).  It  must  be  admitted,  I  fear, 
that  the  learned  Dastur's  argument  against  the 
evidence  of  classical  authors  is  hardly  capable  of 
carrying  the  weight  laid  on  it.1  The  hostile  judge 
ments  upon  the  credibility  of  Herodotus,  cited  by 
him,  have  long  ago  vanished  as  fuller  knowledge  has 
shown  us  how  remarkably  good  was  the  historian's 
information.  And  to  cut  out  as  a  gloss  the  above- 
quoted  statement  of  Strabo  is  a  heroic  expedient 
which  only  betrays  the  Parsi  scholar's  exceedingly 
pardonable  bias.  I  cannot  stop  to  discuss  the  matter 
here  in  its  later  developments,  for  Sassanian  practice 

1  See  the  criticism  of  Dr  Casartelli,  in  the  Babylonian  and 
Oriental  Record,  1889— continued  in  1890.  The  bulk  of  the  paper 
is  a  discussion  of  the  strange  Vedic  hymn  (Kv,  x.  10),  in  which 
Yami  woos  her  brother  Yama,  just  as  Yimak  \voos  Yim  in  a  Pahlavi 
Ilivdyet  translated  by  West  (SEE,  xviii.  418  f.).  Dr  Casartelli  infers 
that  this  late  Vedic  hymn  is  an  attack  upon  a  custom  known  to 
prevail  in  some  neighbouring  race — one,  as  I  should  put  it,  which 
was  closely  akin  to  the  Magi. 


lies  outside  my  period.  Indeed,  on  my  own  defini 
tion  the  Vendidad  ought  likewise  to  be  passed  over, 
since  it  seems  highly  probable  that  this  part  of  it 
is  Sassanian.  But  an  actual  Avestan  passage  can 
hardly  be  overlooked.  Bartholomae  (AirWb,  1860— 
where  see  literature)  is  very  positive  that  the  institu 
tion  is  known  to  the  A  vesta.  Under  -^aetvadaOa 
he  gives  the  etymology  ^aetu,  "kin,"  and  vadaOa, 
"marriage,"  despite  Justi's  objection.  So  far  I  do 
not  see  how  to  question  his  case,  but  I  would 
note  that  the  word  does  not  occur  in  any  Avestan 
text  that  has  a  claim  to  come  from  the  earlier  age : 
I  should  myself  be  prepared  to  put  the  passages 
quite  late.  But  when  Prof.  Bartholomae  proceeds 
(AirWb,  1822)  to  make  Queen  Hutaosa  the  sister  as 
well  as  wife  of  Vishtaspa,  and  to  find  evidence  not 
only  in  the  Pahlavi  literature  but  in  Yt  1535,  I  feel 
the  greatest  doubt  of  the  inference.  In  this  Yasht 
passage — which  is  metrical —  Hutaosa  "  of  the  many 
brothers,  of  the  Naotara  house,"  prays  to  Vayu  that 
she  may  be  "  dear  and  loved  and  well  received  in  the 
house  of  King  Vishtaspa."  Should  we  not  infer  that 
she  was  about  to  enter  that  house  for  the  first  time, 
as  a  bride  ?  It  is  stated  that  both  Vishtaspa  and  his 
Queen  belonged  to  the  Naotara  family.1  That  would 
not  make  them  brother  and  sister ;  and  Darmesteter 
further  remarks  that  the  Bundahish  (3128)  excluded 

1  Vishtaspa  is  called  by  implication  a  member  of  the  Naotairye  in 
Yt  598,  a  verse  passage.  The  clan  pray  to  Anahita  for  swift  horses, 
and  receive  the  gift — "  Vishtaspa  became  possessed  of  the  swiftest 
horses  in  those  lands  " — by  matrimonial  alliance  with  this  house, 
it  might  be  suggested  !  Vishtaspa's  name  was  enough  to  bring  him 
in  where  it  was  a  matter  of  possessing  horses  (aspa). 

THE   MAGI  207 

Vishtaspa  from  this  family.1  "  Perhaps  he  was  con 
sidered  a  Naotaride  on  account  of  his  wife  "  (SBE, 
xxiii.  77  n).  Is  it  not  more  reasonable  to  take  the 
Yasht  passage  in  its  obvious  sense,  and  charge  the 
Pahlavi  glossators  with  the  interpretation  which 
would  make  the  royal  patron  of  Zarathushtra  the 
first  example  of  their  much-lauded  virtue  ?  For  that 
the  practice  is  lauded  in  this  literature  is  really  beyond 
question.  The  paramount  authority  of  E.  W.  West 
has  fairly  settled  it,2  and  his  demonstration  gives  all 
the  more  weight  to  his  opinion  that  it  is  not  proven 
for  the  Avesta.  I  refer  to  West's  dissertation 
specially  for  his  proof  that  the  writers  were  urging 
on  the  people  a  practice  which  they  would  not 
receive.  This  is  exactly  the  impression  that  the 
classical  evidence  makes.  A  rule  peculiar  to  an 
alien  tribe,  strongly  marked  with  traces  of  barbarous 
origin  surviving  into  later  days  under  the  influence 
of  religion,  remained  peculiar  to  them  to  the  last. 
That  instances  occurred  in  the  royal  family  is  another 
matter.  Herodotus  makes  no  suggestion  that  there 
were  Magi  at  the  court  of  Cambyses,  and  his  "judges  " 
expressly  declared  that  they  knew  no  law  permitting 
marriage  of  brother  and  sister.  The  king's  own 
character  is  abundantly  bad  enough — or  mad  enough 
—to  account  for  his  act.  Artaxerxes  I.  might  be  a 
similar  case,  though  by  this  time  the  Magi  could  have 
intervened  :  there  is  no  proof  that  they  did.  Personal 
viciousness,  and  an  increasing  jealousy  of  introducing 
foreign  elements  into  the  royal  house,  will  be  sufficient 

1  Bund  3 129  mentions  Vishtaspa,  but  I  see  no  reference  to  the 
Naotara  family  in  the  context  as  West  gives  it  (SEE,  v.  137). 

2  SEE,  xviii.  389-430  :  cf.  preface,  p.  xxviii  f. 


explanation  of  the  cases  where  the  infamous  Cambyses' 
example  was  followed  by  later  Achsemenians.  The 
parallel  case  of  the  Ptolemies  in  Egypt  is  naturally 
recalled.  Here,  however,  there  was  the  incentive  of 
native  practice  in  their  adopted  country,  against  which 
the  natural  Greek  instinct  seems  to  have  failed  to  plead. 
Next  among  the  characteristics  of  the  Magi  we 
will  take  that  which  actually  usurped  their  name, 
r\  nayiKn  re-^vrj  or  ftayela  :  so,  for  example,  in  Wisdom 
177,  Acts  811,  to  give  two  fairly  early  instances  of  the 
use  of  the  name  without  any  reference  to  the  Magi. 
It  is  hardly  necessary  to  stop  and  prove  that  the 
Magi  were  generally  believed  to  be  pre-eminently 
skilled  in  magic.1  What  concerns  us  here  is  that 

1  E.  Meyer  (Gesch.  d.  Alt.,  iii.  124  f.)  reminds  us  that  "magic" 
was  attached  to  the  Magian  name  from  the  middle  of  the  fifth 
century.  Yet  the  best  Greek  witnesses,  Deinon  and  Aristotle, 
expressly  say,  T^V  yo^ri/c^v  /Aayeiav  ouS'  eyvcocrav  (the  Magi).  In 
[Plato]  Alkib.  i.  122  fjM.jf.ia.  is  defined  as  6e£>v  Bepa-n-fM.  A  good 
sample  of  the  popular  belief  as  to  the  powers  of  these  famous 
shamans  may  be  seen  in  a  passage  of  the  Baedeker  of  antiquity. 
Pausanias  (v.  273,  p.  449),  after  retailing  a  truly  marvellous  story 
of  a  bronze  horse,  caps  it  with  a  miracle  "  partaking  of  magic  art " 
(/mycov  cro</>ias),  which  he  declares  he  had  seen  in  Lydia.  He  tells 
us  (in  Frazer's  English)  that  ' '  The  Lydians  who  are  surnamed 
Persian  have  sanctuaries  in  Hierocaesarea  and  Hypaepa,  and  in 
each  of  the  sanctuaries  there  is  a  chapel,  and  in  the  chapel  there 
are  ashes  on  an  altar,  but  the  colour  of  the  ashes  is  not  that  of 
ordinary  ashes."  He  proceeds  :  'EcreA$wv  Be  es  TO  oiK-q^a.  avrjp  yu,ayos 
KOI  £v\a  e7ri</>o/3??cras  a-va.  ITTL  TOV  /3(o/nov  Trptara  fjikv  rtdpav  lireOero  eirl  rrj 
Kf^aXy,  Sevrepa  Se  emf/cAT/cnv  OTOV  Sr/  $£aiv  cTraSti  /3ap/3apa  /cat  ovSa/wos 
(Twera  "EAAijo-ii/  •  cTraSet  Se  CTriAeyoyuevos  IK  fii/3Xiov.  avev  re  8r]  TTU/JOS 
dvay/07  Tracra.  a.<^OrjvaL  TO,  £vXa  KOL  Trept^avrj  ^>Aoya  e£  avraiv  e/cXa/xi/'at. 
Prof.  Frazer  tells  us  (Introd.  p.  xix.)  that  Pausanias  was  probably 
born  in  Lydia  (2nd  century  A.D.).  The  "magic"  is  accordingly 
attested  by  good  witness  ;  and  it  is  both  harmless  and  (one  would 
think)  tolerably  easy. 

THE   MAGI  209 

magic  was  alien  to  Zoroastrianism.  Even  in  the 
Vendidad  we  have  the  statement  (Farg.  I13)  that 
Angra  Mainyu  created  aya  yatava,  sorcery,  to  be 
the  bane  of  Haetumant,  or  Saistan.  Darmesteter 
(in  loc.}  observes  that  the  district  was  half  Indian, 
according  to  Masudi,  "and  Brahmaris  and  Bud 
dhists  have  the  credit  of  being  proficient  in  the 
darker  sciences."  Whether  such  credit  is  merited 
or  not,  it  is  obvious  that  a  half-heretical  population 
would  be  easily  held  guilty  of  "  black  magic," 
the  only  kind  against  which  the  ban  would  lie. 
Darmesteter  quotes  from  the  Great  Bundahish 
the  note :  "  The  plague  created  against  Saistan  is 
abundance  of  witchcraft ;  and  that  character  ap 
pears  from  this,  that  all  people  from  that  place 
practise  astrology :  those  wizards  produce  .  .  .  snow, 
hail,  spiders,  and  locusts."  If  this  comment  con 
tains  ancient  material,  it  witnesses  strikingly  to  a 
general  hostility  to  the  occult  of  every  kind.  The 
later  parts  of  the  Avesta,  to  which  we  are  tenta 
tively  ascribing  Magian  authorship,  contain  elements 
decidedly  magical.  Note  the  prose  passage  in  Yt 
1435,  concerning  the  potency  of  a  bone  or  a  feather 
of  the  varangan  bird.  I  would  not  press  this 
argument  too  far,  for  the  ydtu  who  is  so  often 
banned  in  the  Avesta  need  not  on  purely  Avestan 
evidence  be  a  magician  in  general,  but  only  one 
who  harms  the  faithful  by  Ahrimanian  spells  and 

Oneiromancy  is  a  department  specially  connected 
with  the  Magi  in  our  Greek  sources,  from  the  time 
of  the  expedition  of  Xerxes.  It  was  evidently  one 

of  the  most  prominent  of  their  functions.     But  the 



word  for  "  dream " *  only  occurs  once  in  the  Later 
Avesta  with  that  meaning,  and  there  is  no  hint 
that  dreams  were  ever  studied.2 

Astrology  has  already  been  referred  to  as  a  great 
feature  of  Magian  activity.  Now  a  certain  amount 
of  astrolatry  no  doubt  belonged  to  proto-Aryan 
religion.  It  is,  however,  astonishingly  small.  Here 
there  is  a  patent  contrast  to  Babylonian  religion,  and 
to  Mithraism.  The  Tishtrya  Yasht  is  the  exception 
that  proves  the  rule.  In  that  hymn  the  prince  of  the 
fixed  stars  is  certainly  invoked,  with  the  three  co- 
regents  of  the  other  quarters  of  the  sky.  But  there 
is  none  of  the  sheer  inconsequence  of  astrology.  In 
the  country  where  the  Tishtrya  myth  had  its  birth, 
the  disappearance  of  Sirius  in  the  sun's  rays  coincided 
with  the  season  of  drought,  and  soon  after  his  heliacal 
rising  the  rains  began  to  fall.  To  regard  Sirius  as  a 
good  genius  who  has  been  fighting  a  long  battle  with 
Apaosha,  the  drought  demon,  savours  of  post  hoc 
propter  hoc,  but  is  quite  reasonable  as  such  notions 
go.3  One  other  Yasht,  that  addressed  to  Rashnu, 
has  a  good  many  references  to  the  stars,  but  these  are 

1  -^afna,  identical  with  somnus,  Old  Norse  svefn :  it  survives  in 
Chaucer's  sweven.     On  its  appearance  in  the  Gathas,  see  Ys  303  and 
note  there  (p.  349). 

2  Nicolaus  Damascenus  (in  Miiller,  iii.  399)  makes  the  mother  oi 
Cyrus  consult  the  Chaldaeans  about  her  dream :  Wilhelm  cites  thit 
(ZDMG,   xliv.    153)  in   his   evidence  for  the  popular  confusion  oi 
Magi  and  Chaldaeans. 

3  The  Greeks  (e.g.  Hesiod,  Op.,  417  f.)  traced  the  heat  of  the  Do£ 
Days  to  the  fact  that  Sirius  was  shining  by  day,  and  so  adding  hi; 
influence  to  that  of  the  Sun.     The  contrast  between  the  result.1 
attained    by  infantile    science   and   relatively    sane    mythology    if 
instructive !     The  astronomical  problem  of  the  Tishtrya  Yasht  i: 
discussed  in  Lecture  I.,  p.  23  ff. 

THE   MAGI  211 

not  even  mythological.  The  ubiquity  of  the  spirit  of 
Justice  is  brought  out  by  invoking  him  from  a  series 
of  places  in  earth  and  heaven  where  he  may  be.  Three 
of  the  four  Regents — Satavaesa  is  omitted  perhaps 
by  mere  textual  accident — are  thus  named,  and  the 
stars  that  hold  the  seed  of  the  waters,  the  earth, 
the  plants,  and  the  Bull,  the  stars  that  descend  from 
Spenta  Mainyu.1  I  need  not  collect  Avestan  references 
to  the  stars,  which  are  all  on  these  lines.2  There 
is  never  a  suggestion  in  the  Avesta  that  the  destiny 
of  the  individual  or  the  nation  can  be  read  in  the  sky. 
Whatever  real  astrology  there  was  must  be  associated 
with  the  Magi  apart  from  the  orthodox  religion. 

There  is  one  curious  phenomenon  here  which  can 
only  be  explained  on  some  such  theory  as  I  am 
advocating.  The  planets  are  malign  influences  in  the 
developed  Parsi  system.  Each  of  the  great  regent 
stars  has  a  planet  as  his  Ahrimanian  antagonist.3  And 
yet  these  "  wandering  stars,"  whose  strange  irregular 
motions  seemed  like  an  element  of  disorder  in  the 
sky,  bore  the  names  of  the  great  Yazatas  :  Anahit  was 
Venus,  Bahrain  Mars,  Auharmazd  Jupiter.  The 

1  Were  the  stars  supposed  to  hold  the  seed  of  plants  and  animals 
from  the  notion  that  they  were  tiny  holes  in  the  firmament  through 
which  the  rain  descended  ? 

2  A  speculation   of   Darmesteter's,   endorsed    with    a   query  by 
Bartholomae,  might  be  mentioned  as  a  possible  instance  of  the  more 
developed  astrolatry  of  the  era  of  the  Vendidad,  regarded  as  largely 
Sassariian  and  built  up  by  Magian  influence.     In  Farg.   1942  it  is 
conjectured  that  "the  two  Manzu,  the  southerly,  the  everlasting," 
may  be  a  constellation,  and  the  "seven  Horns  "  in  the  same  verse 
another.     Justi  guessed  the    Milky  Way    for   the    former.     I    am 
tempted  to  ask  if  we  might  pursue  this  throughout  the  verse  by 
transferring  to  a  heavenly  ocean  the  Fish  Kara. 

8  Bd  51. 


incongruity  was  noticed  in  medieval  times.  A 
Moslem  writer  quoted  by  Prof.  Jackson1  declares 
that  the  planets  originally  had  the  names  of  demons ; 
but  when  Ormazd  brought  them  under  his  sway  he 
gave  them  new  names.  Our  explanation  will  natur 
ally  be  that  Aryan  and  Magian  elements  are  mixed 
here.  The  Anahita  Yasht  ( Yt  585)  links  the  goddess 
with  stars ;  but  the  plural  itself  seems  to  preclude 
special  association  with  the  planet  Venus,  so  that 
the  Avesta  does  not  help  us.  The  names  of  the 
planets  agree  with  the  classical.  There  seems  no 
inevitable  reason  why  the  planets  nearest  to  us  should 
be  respectively  the  goddess  of  beauty  and  the  god  oi 
victory,  or  that  which  only  the  telescope  can  prove 
to  be  the  largest  in  our  system  receive  the  name  of 
the  supreme  deity.  The  key  is  found  immediately 
when  we  see  that  in  Babylon  Venus,  Mars  and  Jupiter 
were  respectively  Istar,  Nergal  and  Marduk,  which 
answer  exactly  to  both  Pahlavi  and  Greek.  Prof. 
Cumont2  shows  how  after  the  fourth  century  the 
ancient  Greek  names  of  the  planets  were  gradually 
ousted  by  names  evidently  intended  to  answer  tc 
those  already  fixed  in  Semitic  star-worship.  We 
have,  accordingly,  very  clear  proof  that  when  these 
names  entered  Parsi  phraseology — and  it  should  be 
noticed  that  there  is  no  proof  that  this  happened  til 
a  relatively  late  date — it  was  from  Babylon.  Bui 
whence  came  the  notion  that  the  planets  as  such  wen 

1  Grundrist,  ii.  666. 

a  Astrology  and  Religion  among  the  Greeks  and  Romans  (1912) 
p.  46.  "  Thus  the  names  of  the  planets  which  we  employ  to-da} 
are  an  English  translation  of  a  Latin  translation  of  a  Greek  trans 
lation  of  a  Babylonian  nomenclature." 

THE    MAGI  213 

malign  ?  Not  from  the  Semites,  for  the  sun  and  moon 
were  of  their  company  in  Babylonian  astrology,  and 
I  need  not  say  how  such  a  suggestion  as  this  involves 
would  have  horrified  the  framers  of  Bundahish  theo 
logy.  Not  from  Aryans,  who  assuredly  never  saw 
demoniac  features  in  "  sweet  Hesper-Phosphor  "  or  the 
splendid  Jupiter.  We  have  here,  I  think,  a  significant 
hint  that  the  Magi  were  strangers  alike  to  Aryan  and 
to  Semite — a  conclusion  suggested  by  other  evidence 
that  has  passed  before  us.1 

A  similar  double  view  seems  to  appear  with  regard 
to  the  classifying  of  Mountains.  It  will  be  remem 
bered  that  they  were  creatures  of  Ahriman  in  the 
system  described  by  Plutarch  (p.  403) :  they  are  all 

1  My  friend  Dr  Vernon  Bartlet  has  called  my  attention  to  the 
interesting  discussion  of  this  subject  in  Prof.  Bousset's  Haupt- 
probleme  der  Gnosis  (1907).  The  matter  lies  outside  my  chronologi 
cal  limits,  but  I  must  briefly  refer  to  it.  Bousset  discusses  the  fact 
(p.  27)  that  "  in  Gnostic  systems  and  mythology  the  highest  Baby 
lonian  divinities,  the  Seven  and  the  great  Mother  Goddess,  are  no 
longer  the  greatest  divinities,  but  low  demoniacal  beings  or  half 
good  and  half  evil,  belonging  to  the  Mittelwelt,  or  fallen  from  the 
world  above."  He  brings  out  the  agreement  of  later  Parsism 
(p.  41  f.),  noting  how  Gocihar  and  the  "thievish  Muspar  (perhaps 
a  comet)  "  have  taken  the  place  which  sun  and  moon  could  not  fill. 
He  thinks  the  agreement  of  Mandaism  and  the  Gnosis  enables  us 
to  explain  this  by  dating  it  from  the  time  when  Babylonian  and 
Persian  religion  came  into  antagonistic  contact.  The  Persians 
accordingly  turned  the  revered  Babylonian  planets  into  demons — 
a  theory  resembling  the  discarded  view  of  the  relations  between 
the  Avestan  daeva  and  the  Indian  deva.  Prof.  Bousset  rejects 
almost  with  scorn  Cumont's  explanation  that  the  "  wandering  stars  " 
were  malign  from  their  very  nature.  But  Cumont  is,  I  think,  indis 
putably  right.  This  way  of  looking  on  the  planets  answers  Magian 
thought  exactly,  as  the  treatment  of  Mountains  will  show.  We  can 
explain  the  phenomena  by  simply  noting  where  essentially  incon 
gruous  systems  failed  to  mix. 


to  be  smoothed  out  when  the  Regeneration  comes. 
What,  then,  of  Aryan  worship  on  hilltops  (Herodotus, 
see  p.  391),  or  the  commanding  glory  of  Alburz  and 
other  sacred  hills  in  the  A  vesta  ?  Like  the  planets, 
I  take  it,  they  introduced  irregularity  into  the  balanced 
order  of  things,  and  so  Ahriman  must  be  held  respon 
sible  fdr  them.  This  ultra-logical  idea  conflicted  with 
the  prevailing  instinct,  as  is  shown  by  the  fact  that 
even  the  Bundahish  preserves  a  trace  of  the  other 
view  :  note  the  "  fostering  hills  "  of  Bd  1241.  Since 
the  mountains  were  sacred  for  Semites  as  well  as 
Aryans,  we  may  recognise  here  yet  another  hint  that 
the  Magi  were  neither.1 

If  I  am  right  in  thus  interpreting  features  where 
there  is  some  definite  evidence  for  differentiating 
Magian  and  Zoroastrian  doctrine,  I  think  I  may  go  on 
to  select  others  in  which  incongruity  between  Gathas 
and  Later  Avesta  may  be  read  in  the  same  way. 
Here  of  course  we  shall  have  to  ask  whether  the 
deviations  from  Zarathushtra  are  due  to  the  Magian 

1  Clemen  (Prim.  Christianity,  165)  brings  Biblical  parallels: — "In 
viewof  the  rough  and  mountainous  character  of  the  land,itwas  natural 
in  Persia  to  expect  in  the  last  days  an  earth  entirely  level :  with 
this  we  may  connect  the  prediction  in  Zee.  1410"  [where,  however, 
the  point  is  the  elevation  of  the  new  Jerusalem  over  a  vast  surround 
ing  plain]  .  .  . ;  and  in  the  Sibylline  Oracles  (iii.  777  ff.) :  'All  the 
paths  in  the  flat  land  and  the  rugged  hillocks  and  the  lofty  hills  and  the 
raging  billows  shall  be  smooth  and  navigable  in  those  days.'  The  Apoca 
lypse  also,  I  think,  proceeds  from  this  assumption ;  otherwise  it 
could  not  depict  the  new  Jerusalem  as  it  does  in  2 116." 

I  cannot  see  where  the  Sibylline  oracle  goes  beyond  Isai.  404, 
which  Prof.  Clemen  wisely  does  not  quote.  Nor  can  I  understand 
his  inference  from  Rev.  2 116.  For  these  reasons,  though  wholly 
willing  to  admit  apocalyptic  imagery  as  a  field  where  Magian 
influence  may  have  told,  I  do  not  include  these  suggestions  in  my 
discussion  in  Lecture  IX. 

THE   MAGI  215 

influence  or  represent  simple  reversion  to  the  stand 
point  of  the  old  Aryan  religion.  Generally  this  will 
give  us  little  trouble,  guided  as  we  are  by  the  truthful 
picture  of  Persian  religion  in  Herodotus,  when  checked 
by  the  comparative  method. 

Veneration  for  the  sacred  elements  of  Earth  and 
Water  was  a  common  feature  of  both  religions.  We 
know  this  of  the  Persian,  and  we  infer  it  for  the 
Magian.  The  Dakhma  was  always  explained  as  a 
device  whereby  Earth  and  Water  could  escape 
Dollution  from  a  corpse.  Then  worship  of  these 
elements  in  one  form  or  another  was  so  general  in 
the  countries  where  the  Magi  are  found,  that  we 
should  be  justified  in  presuming  it  for  them,  were  the 
evidence  much  weaker.  Further,  there  seems  a  great 
difference  in  spirit  between  the  Later  Avesta  and  the 
relevant  narratives  of  Herodotus  in  regard  to  these 
cults.  A  word  may  be  added  on  the  last  head.  The 
actions  of  Cambyses  and  Xerxes  towards  the  elements 
became  a  very  obvious  stumbling-block  when  these 
cults  were  defined  on  Avestan  lines.  Cambyses 
profaned  the  Fire  by  burning  the  corpse  of  Amasis 
(Hdt.  iii.  16) :  the  scandal  thus  produced,  duly 
recorded  by  the  historian,  may  be  safely  assumed  to 
be  reflected  from  the  ideas  of  his  own  time,  assisted 
by  the  tradition  of  the  horror  caused  in  Egypt  by 
the  destruction  of  a  royal  mummy.  Cambyses  out 
raged  the  Earth  by  burying  twelve  Persians  alive 
(iii.  35).  Xerxes  scourged  the  Hellespont  and  cast 
fetters  into  it  (vii.  35).  The  words  of  his  defiance 
should  be  noted,  for  they  exactly  bear  out  the 
explanation  given  above  (p.  59),  which  was  written 
without  reference  to  this  passage.  "  And  King 


Xerxes  will  go  over  thee,  whether  thou  wilt  or  no ; 
but  to  thee,  as  is  right,  no  man  doth  sacrifice,  for 
that  thou  art  a  foul  and  salt  river."  Contrast  vii. 
113,  where  the  Magi  sacrifice  white  horses  (cf.  p.  59) 
to  the  Strymon. 

Now  it  is  easy  to  plead  that  "  the  character  of  the 
royal  sinner  would  make  a  lapse  from  orthodoxy  not 
very  surprising " :  it  remains  true,  to  continue  my 
quotation,1  that  "the  most  probable  explanation 
seems  to  be  that  the  kings  were  transgressing  only 
Magian  orthodoxy,  which  had  not  yet  entered  the 
religion  of  the  court  and  nobles  of  Persia,  whatever 
may  have  been  the  case  with  the  popular  creed." 
That  a  purely  Aryan  cult  underlies  the  history  seems 
certain.  The  Aryans  had  no  reverence  for  the  sea,2 
for  it  was  the  Waters  as  sustainers  of  plant  life  that 
they  worshipped.  At  his  actual  crossing  of  the 
Hellespont  Xerxes  was  very  reverential  (vii.  54). 
At  sunrise  he  poured  a  libation  into  the  sea,  and 

1  From  my  paper  at  the  Oxford  Congress  of  Religions  (1908). 

2  Tiele  cites  the  case  of  Tiridates  travelling  to   Rome  by  land 
as  evidence  that  the  sea  was  Ahrimanian  (Religionsgesch.,  ii.  250). 
This  would  probably  mean  that  a  first-century  Arsacide  inherited  an 
old  Iranian  impulse.     The  action  would  thus  be  in  line  with  Xerxes' 
defiance    of  an    element  the   Aryans  never  knew,  and  therefore 
never  loved  as  the   Greeks  and  the  Germanic  races  have  done. 
Our  inference  is  that  the  sea  was  a  creature  of  Ormazd  for  the 
Magi,  like  the  other  waters,  and  the  horror  at  Xerxes  is  characteristic 
of  them.     But  Tiele  has  unwarrantably  ignored  the  reason  assigned 
by  Pliny  (see  p.  419  n.,  below),  that  Tiridates  would  not  pollute  a 
sacred  element,  as  a  sea-traveller   must  do.     I  do  not  press  the 
notice  of  Herodotus  (vii.   191),  that  the  Magi  sacrificed  to  Thetis 
and  the  Nereids,  genii  of  the  sea,  for  we  are  expressly  told  that 
they  were  prompted   by  the   lonians.     But  I  feel  convinced  that 
Tiele  is  doubly  wrong. 

THE   MAGI  217 

then  threw  after  it  the  golden  bowl  out  of  which  he 
had  poured,  with  a  golden  tankard  and  a  Persian 
sword  to  follow.  Naturally  he  wished  to  avoid  no 
precaution ;  but  Herodotus  expressly  notes  a  doubt 
whether  he  was  dedicating  these  gifts  to  the  Sun— 
as  the  choice  of  time  might  suggest — or  confessing 
remorse  for  previous  sacrilege.  More  probably  the 
historian  has  coloured  the  incident  with  Magian 
notions  transferred  to  an  earlier  day.  It  would  be 
absurd  to  make  something  affecting  religion,  in  its 
leeper  sense,  depend  upon  the  recorded  conduct  of 
creatures  like  Cambyses  or  Xerxes.  But  their  very 
worthlessness  suggests  the  expectation  that  they 
would  not  insult  a  powerful  spirit  like  Earth  or  Sea 
if  inherited  or  acquired  superstition  taught  them  to 
hold  such  in  awe.  The  often-noted  fact  that  all  the 
Achsemenian  Kings,  good  and  bad  alike,  were  buried, 
is  decisive  against  the  assumption  that  in  their  age 
the  Magi  had  succeeded  in  teaching  their  own  form 
of  reverence  to  the  Earth.  Burial  may  even  be  pre 
sumed  in  a  passage  of  the  Gathas  (see  above,  p.  163  f.). 
To  Aryan  minds  the  return  of  the  corpse  to  Mother 
Earth  may  well  have  seemed  the  highest  reverence. 
Strabo  tells  us  (p.  520)  of  a  savage  tribe  in  the  Caucasus, 
the  Derbikes,  who  venerated  the  Earth,  but  buried 
their  dead — or  those  of  them  whom  they  did  not  eat ! 
That  Aryans  could  venerate  Fire  and  yet  practise 
cremation  is  sufficiently  shown  by  the  usage  in  India. 
The  whole  conception  of  ritual  pollution  in  these 
matters  is  understood  at  once  when  we  recognise  an 
alien  notion  coming  from  the  Magi. 

It  is  less  easy  to  assign  to  its  true  source  the  Later 
Avestan  doctrine  of  the  potency  of  spells.     It  is  a 


great  departure  from  the  spirit  of  the  Gathas,  the 
words  of  which  were  turned  into  spells  at  a  very  early 
period.  The  A  vesta  is  not  the  only  sacred  book  for 
which  verbal  inspiration  has  been  claimed ;  nor  is 
the  day  of  manthras  apparently  done  in  religions  far 
more  widespread  than  Parsism.  On  the  whole,  we 
may  well  allow  that  both  strata  were  responsible  for 
this  particular  perversion  of  the  Prophet's  teaching. 
A  Magian  character  in  a  matter  akin  to  this  may 
perhaps  be  recognised  in  the  appropriation  of  a  whole 
set  of  words  to  describe  things  and  actions  when 
connected  with  Ahrimanian  creatures.  I  should  not 
hesitate  for  a  moment  in  attributing  to  the  Magi  a 
usage  so  completely  in  keeping  with  their  manner  of 
thinking,  but  for  Bartholomae's  tracing  the  germs  of 
it  in  the  Gathas  :  see  Ys  5110  and  note  there  (p.  385  f). 
But  a  single  occurrence  of  one  or  two  words  of  this 
class,  which  may  have  actually  suggested  the  later 
appropriation,  is  inadequate  evidence  that  so  peculiar 
a  practice  was  in  vogue  in  Zarathushtra's  day.  To 
divide  words,  like  everything  else,  between  the  two 
great  opposing  Powers,  is  almost  an  inevitable  sequel 
of  the  Magian  theory.1  Parallels  may  be  sought  in 

1  There  is  one  passage,  Yt  589,  where  an  otherwise  Ahrimanian 
word  is  used  of  Ahura's  creation,  viz.  bizangra,  "biped."  So  far  as 
this  goes,  I  might  infer  that  the  system  was  not  stereotyped  in  the 
Yasht  period.  The  use  of  marak,  "kill"  (see  below),  in  Vd  196 
brings  an  exception  into  the  later  stage.  It  may  be  convenient 
to  cite  some  examples  : 

Head     (Ahuryan)  vaySana    (Ahrimanian)  kamaraSa 
Hand  zasta  gav 

Foot  zanga  zangra 

Eye  doiOra  as 

Ear  us  karana 

Son  puOra  hunu 

THE   MAGI  219 

various  quarters.  It  is  tempting  to  compare  Homer's 
statement  that  the  gods  called  the  river  Xanthus, 
but  men  Scamander ;  or  that  the  gods  called  Moly 
a  herb  which  unfortunately  men  do  not  seem  to 
have  named  or  identified.  Nearer  to  some  of  the 
examples  in  the  note  below  is  the  euphemism  by 
which  the  Sabines  called  a  wolf  Mrpus,  which  in 
Latin  (hircus)  has  its  proper  meaning  "goat."  Much 
illustration  of  the  principle  is  cited  from  uncivilised 
peoples  by  Prof.  J.  G.  Frazer  in  ch.  vii.  of  The 
Golden  Bough*,  part  ii.  The  particular  application 
of  it  with  which  we  are  here  concerned  has,  however, 
features  wholly  peculiar,  and  thoroughly  characteristic 
of  the  Magi. 

For  by  this  time  we  can  hardly  hesitate  to  assign 
to  Magian   theology  the  systematic  division  of  the 

To  die      (Ahuryan)  raed       (Ahrimanian)  mar 
To  speak  vac  dav 

To  run  drav 

To  go  ay  dvar,  pat  (arid  com 


To  "  conquer  "  the  forces  of  Ahriman  is  van,  to  "  kill ''  the  creatures 
of  Ormazd  is  marak  (see  above).  And  so  on.  How  little  original  are 
many  of  these  names  is  obvious.  The  verbal  root  which  describes 
the  dying  of  Ahriman's  creatures  actually  enters  into  the  name  of 
the  Amshaspand  Immortality.  KamaraSa,  "  pate/'  with  its  deprecia- 
tive  prefix,  is  the  only  one  in  the  above  list  where  any  particular 
reason  is  visible.  A  very  similar  principle  may  be  seen  in  the 
names  of  three  animals  where  we  infer  that  Mazdayasnians  and 
Daevayasnians  (and  pious  people  when  they  forgot  ?)  used  different 
words.  "Evil-speaking  people  "  use  the  popular,  non-theological 
names  for  the  Ahuryan  creatures  hedgehog  and  cock — duzaka  and 
kahrkatat  instead  of  vanhapara  and  parodars  respectively.  They 
also  use  the  pet  (abbreviated)  name  zairimyaka  for  the  tortoise 
(zairimyanura,  "  keeping  his  toes  in  his  shell "),  an  animal  which 
the  Magi  handed  over  to  Ahriman. 


world  and  all  that  is  therein,  each  creation  of  Ahura 
being  matched  by  one  from  Angra's  hand.  The  very 
fact  that  the  balancing  was  often  incomplete  suggests 
that  it  was  attempted  in  the  latest  period  of  develop 
ment.  The  Magi  never  took  very  kindly  to  the 
Amshaspands,  who  play  a  small  part  in  the  Avestan 
texts  which  we  have  assigned  to  their  authorship. 
But,  as  Plutarch's  evidence  shows  (see  p.  401),  they 
duly  created  a  daeva  to  be  special  avrirexyos  to  each 
one,  though  it  was  so  perfunctorily  done  that  the 
shadowy  antagonists  provided  by  Magian  theory  are 
invisible  in  all  earlier  texts ;  and  as  they  stand  in 
Pahlavi  theology  they  fail  to  have  any  special  appro 
priateness  for  their  several  functions.1  It  should  be 
noted  that  the  tendency  to  balance  each  creation  of 
Ahura  with  one  of  Angra  suggests  origin  in  a  type 
of  dualistic  theory  which  existed  early  in  Babylonia. 
When  the  Second  Isaiah  says  in  Yahweh's  name, 
"  /  form  the  light,  and  create  darkness  ;  /  make 
peace,  and  create  evil"  (Isai.  457),  we  may  recognise 
in  the  doctrine  implicitly  rebuked  that  of  teachers 
essentially  akin  to  the  Magi.  It  should,  however,  be 
observed  that  the  existence  of  such  a  dualistic  tendency 
within  the  field  from  which  he  drew  his  observa 
tions  does  not  prove  any  nexus  between  the  Magi 
and  Babylon,  unless  in  their  accepting  Babylonian 
ideas  as  they  accepted  Persian.  But  the  dualism  in 
question  may  quite  well  have  been  Magian  and  not 

1  See  on  this  subject  Jackson  in  ERE,  iv.  620.  My  statement 
above  is  not  at  variance  with  the  general  doctrine  that  the  Magi 
were  responsible  for  bringing  out  of  the  East  everything  that  the 
West  came  to  know  about  the  Amshaspands.  How  much  they 
transformed  them  may  be  seen  from  the  Cappadocian  evidence. 

THE  MAGI  221 

Babylonian  at  all :  in  that  case  Kohut's  "  Anti-Parsic 
polemic  in  n.  Isaiah  " l  is  only  mistaken  in  its  identify 
ing  Magian  and  Parsi. 

Finally,  one  can  hardly  question  the  responsibility 
of  the  Magi  for  the  ritual,  or  very  nearly  all  of  it. 
Zarathushtra,  if  we  are  to  judge  from  the  Gathas, 
resembled  the  rest  of  the  world's  great  prophets  in 
his  indifference  to  anything  of  the  kind ;  and  native 
Aryan  religion  had  only  a  simple  system  which  would 
easily  yield  to  the  elaborate,  under  stress  of  the 
tendency  which  everywhere  stimulates  the  growth  of 
the  externals  of  religion.  Much  of  the  ritual  is  of  a 
kind  which  Eastern  priests  take  pleasure  in  devising, 
perhaps  with  small  expectation  of  its  being  undertaken. 
This  especially  applies  to  the  rules  that  are  to  govern 
women,  rules  very  obviously  man-made :  it  appears, 
however,  that  Parsi  women  still  yield  partial  sub 
mission  to  some  of  the  most  trying  of  them.  The 
large  use  of  gaomaeza  (qs.  */3o6/m.i-^/ui.a)  is  rather  hard  for 
outsiders  to  stomach  ;  no  doubt  chacun  a  son  gout  \ 
The  sacredness  of  the  indispensable  ox  and  cow 
is  an  Aryan  feature  just  as  much  as  it  may  have 
been  a  Magian :  here  the  Semites,  too,  were  entirely 
in  accord.  But  we  naturally  cannot  dogmatise  as 
to  where  they  would  draw  the  line  in  practical  appli 
cation.  Another  point  of  difficulty  is  raised  not 
infrequently  in  the  Vendidad,  where  penalties  are 
often  so  extravagant  as  to  make  the  reader  infer  that 
they  never  had  any  particular  meaning.  Perhaps  the 
lowest  depths  of  absurdity  are  sounded  by  Fargard 
xiv,  where  is  set  forth  the  manner  in  which  the 

1  See  his  paper,  ZDMG,  xxx.  709.  The  idea  was  first  broached 
by  Saadya  (Cheyne  on  Isai.,  I.e.). 


slayer  of  a  "water-dog"  or  otter  may  "redeem  his 
own  soul."  Darmesteter  may  well  be  right  when  he 
says,  "  These  exorbitant  prescriptions  seem  to  be 
intended  only  to  impress  on  the  mind  of  the  faith 
ful  the  heinousness  of  the  offence  to  be  avoided."  If 
language  were  intended  to  mean  anything,  we  might 
think  that,  as  the  penalty  starts  with  10,000  stripes 
with  each  of  two  kinds  of  whip,  the  piled-up  com 
plications  that  are  to  follow  do  not  really  matter  very 
much.  But  to  appreciate  the  elevation  of  the  Gathas 
the  reading  of  this  section  of  the  Vendidad  may  be 
found  of  educational  value. 

I  venture  to  present  at  the  close  of  this  argument 
some  tentative  suggestions  which  have  occurred  to 
me  after  hearing  my  friend  the  Rev.  John  Roscoe  on 
the  central  African  tribes,  of  which  he  has  a  unique 
knowledge.  Their  points  of  contact  with  the  Magi 
may  be  variously  interpreted.  Mr  Roscoe  shows 
that  the  kings  of  Uganda  belong  to  a  stock  (the 
Gallas)  which  has  left  very  strong  traces  in  Egypt ; 
and  it  might  not  be  utterly  impossible  to  postulate 
some  very  early  connexion  with  aboriginal  tribes  on 
the  other  side  of  the  Persian  Gulf.  But  the  discus 
sion  of  such  prehistoric  conditions  must  be  left  to 
experts.  The  parallels  are  presented  here  simply 
because  they  illustrate  remarkably  well  the  cultural 
stage  which  was  crystallised  by  religious  conservatism 
in  the  Magi. 

First  may  be  mentioned  the  use  of  gomez,  which 
is  regular  among  the  pastoral  people  of  Bunyoro,  a 
northern  Bantu  tribe.  In  connexion  with  this  we 
may  place  the  Waganda  use  of  the  urine  of  the 
parents  of  twins  in  purificatory  ceremonies,  such  a 

THE   MAGI  223 

birth  being  regarded  as  pre-eminently  fortunate,  if 
both  the  twins  live.  This  is  remarkably  like  a  pre 
scription  of  the  Vendidad  (813),  by  which  a  man  and 
woman  who  have  contracted  the  next-of-kin  marriage 
may  supply  urine  that  is  a  permitted  substitute  for 
gomez.  We  might,  indeed,  say  that  the  ceremonies 
for  purification  of  the  relatives  after  a  death,  in  which 
gomez  is  the  chief  agent  (Vd  8-12),  have  a  striking 
general  resemblance  to  the  equally  tedious  and  elabo 
rate  lustrations  practised  among  the  Bantu  tribes. 

Next  comes  the  fact  that  the  people  to  whom  we 
may  specially  trace  the  last-mentioned  rite  practised 
endogamy.  The  Baganda  are  strictly  exogamous, 
but  their  kings,  like  those  of  the  pastoral  tribes,  made 
their  sisters  queen.  For  generations  past,  before  the 
coming  of  Christianity,  there  had  been  no  children 
of  these  marriages  ;  the  king  had  a  number  of  wives 
from  the  common  people,  whose  sons  were  ultimately 
destined  to  fight  for  the  succession.  But  doubtless 
in  earlier  times  a  genuine  Khvetukdas  was  the  rule. 

We  may  even  parallel  the  Magian  usage  which 
the  horrified  Greeks  always  associated  with  this,  the 
institution  of  the  Dakhma.  For  though  the  Bantu 
peoples  regularly  buried  their  dead,  and  regarded 
each  clan  as  responsible  for  the  placating  of  their 
kindred  ghosts  by  a  strict  ritual  of  inhumation,  we 
are  told  that  human  sacrifices  were  an  exception. 
Men  and  women  who  had  been  slain  in  sacrifice  were 
left  unburied  because  they  no  longer  belonged  to 
their  clan  but  to  the  gods.  (In  some  cases  provision 
for  the  corpse  was  anticipated  by  the  exposure  of 
victims  alive  to  sacred  crocodiles,  with  their  limbs 
broken.)  Now  to  be  thus  sacrificed  was  regarded  as 


a  specially  privileged  end  :  those  left  unburied  because 
given  to  the  gods  had  in  this  seeming  neglect  a 
happiness  all  their  own.  We  might  say,  accordingly, 
that  in  the  Bantu  mind  the  exposure  of  the  corpse 
might  be  associated  with  the  most  certain  entrance 
into  the  home  of  the  gods  ;  and  this  of  course  would 
bring  them  near  the  ideas  of  the  Magi.1 

A  fair  parallel  to  the  Fravashi  may  be  brought 
in  here  instead  of  being  kept  till  Lecture  VIII. 
Royal  children  in  Uganda  have  what  is  called  a 
"  twin,"  regarded  as  an  inseparable  part  of  them 
selves.  It  is  the  umbilical  cord,  which  is  carefully 
preserved  and  placed  with  the  jawbone — the  seat  of 
the  spirit — after  death,  to  be  venerated  as  jointly 
representing  the  dead  man's  personality.  The  affinity 
with  the  external  soul  is  clear ;  but  I  think  the  Fra 
vashi  is  recognisable  on  one  of  its  sides,  and  there 
is  the  suggestive  parallel  for  the  union  of  soul  and 
Fravashi  at  death.  The  affinity  of  the  "twin"  with 
the  plantain  flower  may  also  be  noted,  for  the  latter 
is  certainly  an  external  soul. 

The  extinction  of  fires  when  the  king  dies  may 
be  compared  with  the  care  taken  in  Magian  religion 
to  keep  Atar  from  pollution  of  the  dead.  There 
are  other  less  notable  parallels.  The  general  im 
pression  produced  by  the  combination  of  similar 
characteristics  is  that  while  actual  connexion  of 

1  Among  other  savage  parallels  should  be  placed  that  quoted  by 
Dr  Casartelli  from  Abercromby's  Trip  through  the  Eastern  Caucasut 
(London,  1889),  p-  291.  In  the  last  stages  of  proof-correcting  1 
see  in  the  newspaper  a  Reuter  telegram  (dated  13  Sept.  1913): — 
"  It  appears  that  Mongols  never  bury  their  dead,  but  place  the 
bodies  in  the  open  fields,  where  they  are  usually  devoured  by  wolves 
and  vultures." 

THE   MAGI  225 

Magian  and  Bantu  would  be  hard  to  establish,  the 
usages  compared  may  illustrate  strikingly  the  fact 
that  the  Magi  stereotyped  for  religious  purposes 
a  number  of  practices  characteristic  of  a  low  stage 
of  civilisation.  The  number  and  quality  of  these 
strengthen  our  inference  that  the  Magi  were  neither 
Aryan  nor  Semitic,  but  remained  on  a  distinctly 
lower  plane  than  either  until  a  relatively  late  period. 
Of  course,  the  mere  existence  of  isolated  survivals 
from  savagery  in  itself  proves  nothing :  my  inference 
depends  on  a  cumulative  impression.  The  fact  that 
the  Baganda  had  no  temples  for  the  Nature-gods— 
rivers,  trees,  lightning,  etc.— but  only  for  ghosts, 
suggests  at  once  the  Persian  parallel  in  Herodotus 
(p.  391  below).1  Divination  by  the  entrails  of  fowls 
or  cows  links  the  Bantu  with  the  Greek,  as  does  the 
pot  in  which  xoc"  were  offered  upon  a  tomb.  And 
we  remember  pre-eminently  the  discovery  by  Mr 
Roscoe  among  the  Bunyoro  pastoral  tribes,  and  that 
by  Dr  Seligmann  among  Sudanese,  of  the  long- 
sought  and  most  striking  parallel  for  the  King  of 
the  Wood  at  Nemi.  in  emphatic  confirmation  of 
Dr  J.  G.  Frazer's  intuition.  These  parallels,  how 
ever,  are  less  varied  than  those  traced  for  the  Magi. 
With  this  cautious  note  we  may  leave  the  fertile 
anthropological  field  of  Central  Africa  and  return 
to  Western  Asia  again. 

1  The  primitive  Indo-European  community  was  similarly  without 
temples  for  the  *deivos.  See  Schrader's  account  of  the  evolution  of 
shrines,  ERE,  ii.  46  f. 



THE  MAGI  (continued) 

The  ancient  Magians  existed  already  before  the  time 
of  Zoroaster,  but  now  there  is  no  pure,  unmixed 
portion  of  them  who  do  not  practise  the  religion 
of  Zoroaster.  In  fact,  they  belong  now  either  to 
the  Zoroastrians  or  to  the  Shamsiyya  sect  (sun- 
worshippers.)  — ALBIRUNl.1 

WE  pause  a  moment  to  take  note  of  consequences 
that  have  accumulated  from  our  inquiry,  when 
combined  with  those  in  which  we  have  tried  to 
trace  the  thought  of  Zarathushtra  himself.  The 
conclusion  has  become  increasingly  clear  that  very 
little  genuine  Zoroastrianism  percolated  to  the  West 
before  the  Sassanian  age.  Through  Herodotus, 
and  to  an  incomparably  less  degree  through  other 
travellers,  the  Greeks  knew  something  of  Iranian 
religion,  untouched  by  the  Reform ;  and  the  same, 
when  contaminated  with  Semitic  accretions,  so  as 
to  form  what  we  call  Mithraism,  became  extremely 
powerful  in  the  Roman  world.  On  the  other  side 
the  Magian  system  supplied  abundant  traces  of  its 

1  P.  314  (ed.1  Sachau)  :  cf.  Jackson,  Zoroaster,  141.  In  1000  A.D., 
accordingly,  there  were  still,  as  Albiruni  says,  representatives  of  "  the 
ancient  people  of  Harran,"  who  remained  distinct  from  the  Zoro 
astrians,  as  we  have  seen  a  part  of  the  Magi  had  remained  in 
ancient  times. 


THE   MAGI  227 

influence  in  many  of  the  sources  we  have  examined. 
Two  examples  from  the  Greek  Bible  are  reserved  for 
special  study  later  in  this  Lecture  and  the  next.  A 
Magian  folk-story,  with  practically  no  distinctively 
Zoroastrian  feature,  is  found  to  underlie  the  Book 
of  Tobit.  And  the  familiar  story  of  the  Wise  Men 
from  the  East  is  found  to  owe  less  than  we  should 
like  to  the  Prophet  of  Iran,  drawing  its  most  note 
worthy  features  from  things  peculiar  to  the  Magi. 
Such  phenomena  lend  what  plausibility  can  ever  be 
made  out  for  paradoxical  theories  of  late  dates  of 
Avestan  texts.  The  real  deduction  should  rather  be 
that  the  religion  of  the  Gathas — and  to  some  extent 
that  of  the  later  and  metrical  texts  and  the  Gatha 
Haptanghaiti — did  not  effectively  occupy  Western 
Iran  till  Sassanian  times.  A  few  of  its  doctrines 
came  through,  suffering  some  obscuration  in  the 
process ;  and  the  Founder's  name  and  those  of  his 
chief  conceptions  became  known,  but  hardly  under 
stood,  for  they  were  interpreted  very  much  along 
Magian  lines.  The  doctrine  of  immortality  was  the 
main  exception  ;  but  even  there  we  trace  nothing  dis 
tinctive  of  its  Gathic  setting,  which  would  have  deeply 
interested  Greek  thinkers.  Our  evidence  gives  us 
little  to  encourage  the  high  hopes  entertained  by 
scholars  who  think  to  find  in  early  Parsism  a  solution 
for  many  a  problem  of  the  history  of  religion.  I  have 
myself  tried  hard  to  build  the  necessary  bridge,  but 
I  have  to  confess  it  does  not  seem  strong  enough  to 
bear  the  hosts  that  would  fain  cross  over.  Not  in  the 
barren  times  of  the  later  Achasmenians,  the  alien 
Greeks,  or  the  indifferent  Arsacides  did  the  Avesta 
come  fully  out  of  its  Eastern  realm  and  win  the 


attention  of  the  West.  And  when  it  did  thus  come, 
most  of  the  effects  it  was  supposed  to  have  produced 
were  already  a  matter  of  history. 

There  are  some  outstanding  questions  relating  to 
the  Magi  which  we  may  take  up  before  we  apply 
what  we  have  learnt  to  the  peculiarly  interesting 
problem  of  the  Book  of  Tobit.  We  have  tried  to 
isolate  the  Magi  for  separate  examination,  and  have 
noted  several  remarkable  peculiarities  of  belief  and 
habits  which  distinguish  them  sharply  from  Aryans 
and  Semites  alike.  Their  curious  doctrines  concern 
ing  the  planets  and  the  mountains  were  seen  to  be 
as  hard  to  reconcile  with  Aryan  or  Semitic  affinity 
as  their  notorious  enthusiasm  for  the  next-of-kin 
marriage  and  their  method  of  disposing  of  the  bodies 
of  the  dead.  We  must  pursue  the  inquiry  further, 
and  try  to  set  the  Magi  in  their  proper  ethnographic 

And  first  as  to  the  evidence  from  language.  We 
have  in  Herodotus  (vii.  62)  a  statement  that  the 
Medes  were  originally  called  "Apioi.  When  the 
Colchian  Medea  came  to  these  Aryans  from  Athens, 
they  changed  their  name.  "  And  the  Medes  them 
selves  thus  speak  of  their  own  history."  In  all  this  we 
can  hardly  acknowledge  more  than  that  Herodotus  is 
duly  telling  us  what  he  had  been  told.  Moreover,  four 
chapters  later,  he  uses  the  name  "kpioi  (as  in  iii.  93)  to 
denote  the  people  of  Haraiva  (as  Darius  calls  them), 
living  south-east  of  Parthia  :  this  suggests  the  possi 
bility  that  he  may  not  always  have  kept  these  names 
distinct.  But  I  am  not  anxious  to  labour  the  point : 
Herodotus  may  very  easily  have  been  reproducing  the 
proud  declaration  of  an  Aryan  Mede  that  his  own 

THE   MAGI  229 

people  had  been  named  Ariya  from  of  old.  The 
historian's  own  notice  (i.  101)  as  to  the  tribes  of  the 
Medes  is  much  more  important,  since  he  gives  six 
tribal  names  which  seem  to  be  genuine,  if  we  may 
accept  Oppert's  or  Carnoy's  identifications.  These 
assume  that  all  the  names  are  Iranian,  which  is  of 
course  at  least  witness,  as  far  as  it  goes,  for  the  position 
of  Aryan  speech  in  the  country.  But  here  again  we 
need  only  recognise  that  Herodotus  got  his  infor 
mation  from  Aryans,  who  gave  him  the  names  they 
themselves  used.  Now  the  tribes  (yevea)  were  Bouo-a/, 

HaprjTdKtivot,    2r|00i^aTe?,    ^Api^avroi,    Bot^tot,    Ma-yen.       It 

is  a  natural  prima  facie  inference  that  if  one  of  the 
tribes  was  "  Aryan "  (ariya-zantava,  from  zantu, 
"clan"),  the  rest  were  not.  But  we  have  to  define 
"  Aryan,"  and  we  must  admit  the  strong  probability 
that  here  it  keeps  its  primary  meaning  of  "noble." 
Not  that  there  is  any  remembrance  of  an  original 
etymology— which  etymology  may  indeed  be  only  a 
myth  itself,1 — but  merely  a  survival  of  the  hard  fact 
that  the  sturdy  invaders  from  the  North  were  (like  so 
many  other  conquerors)  a  relatively  not  numerous 
clan,  forming  an  aristocracy  like  Homer's  Achaians 
or  the  Normans  in  England.  If  "  Aryan "  is  to  be 
used  in  its  modern  scientific  sense,  with  limitation  to 
language  only,  we  may  still  be  free  to  suppose  that 
some  others  of  the  Median  yevea  spoke  Old  Persian 
or  a  closely  kindred  Iranian  dialect. 

So  we  turn  to  the  Behistan  Rock  and  ask  what  it 
can  tell  us.  Bagistana  is  in  Media,  and  it  may  be 
assumed  that  the  three  languages  of  the  Inscription 
would  between  them  reach  the  whole  population  of 

1  See  on  this,  p.  4*. 


Media.  These  are  Old  Persian,  Assyrian,  and  Susi- 
anian.  Old  Persian  was  accordingly  adequate  for  all 
the  Aryan-speaking  people  who  would  see  the  In 
scription  :  there  was  no  use  for  Gathic  or  Later 
Avestan — a  fact  we  shall  find  of  importance  later. 
But  why  were  the  other  languages  there?  One, 
agreeing  with  that  of  the  inscriptions  of  Susiana, 
closely  akin  to  Elamite  (Tiele),  witnesses  that  Cyrus 
brought  with  him  from  Elam  the  progenitors  of  a 
population  that  kept  up  the  old  language,  or  found 
their  kin  already  settled  there.  The  other,  Assyrian, 
necessitates  our  recognising  Semitic  colonies  in 
Media.  The  general  result  must  surely  be  that  the 
five  Median  tribes  which  were  not  'AptfaiW  may 
have  spoken  the  Semitic  or  the  Elamite  dialect,  and 
so  fall  outside  the  limits  of  Iranian.  I  do  not  say 
this  is  proved,  but  only  that  Tiele  (see  next  page) 
does  not  bring  us  far.  If  I  am  right  in  my  reading 
of  the  Ezekiel  passage  (p.  189),  we  may  reasonably 
expect  to  find  the  Magi  spread  far  beyond  the  limits 
of  Media,  as  indeed  their  affinities  with  certain 
aboriginal  customs  would  encourage  us  to  presume. 
In  that  case  they  would  be  at  least  as  likely  to  use 
the  Assyrian  (as  the  liab-Mag  of  course  did,  if  he 
was  really  an  archimagus]  or  even  the  Susianian 
language.  Of  course,  we  have  always  to  remember 
that  we  decide  nothing  about  their  racial  affinities 
by  determining  their  language. 

After  defining  the  language  of  the  Behistan  In 
scription,  which  stands  between  the  Old  Persian  and 
the  Assyrian,  Tiele  proceeds  : 1 

1  Religions gesch.,  ii.  53  (p.  44  in  Nariman's  English  version,  which 
I  only  saw  in  the  proof  stage). 

THE   MAGI  231 

It  is  very  possible,  indeed,  that  the  indigenous  popu 
lation  of  Media,  subjugated  by  the  Aryans,  spoke  a 
language  of  the  same  family  as  the  Elamite ;  but  in  the 
time  of  the  Achaemenids  and  the  Aryan  dominion  gener 
ally  it  was  certainly  no  longer  the  recognised  language 
of  the  country.  The  ruling  population  of  Media  was 
Aryan ;  the  names  of  most  of  the  kings  mentioned  by 
Herodotus,  appearing  partly  also  in  the  Old  Persian  cunei 
form  inscriptions,  prove  this. 

But  is  not  this  mere  assertion  ?  How  do  we  know 
that  the  population  of  Media  was  predominantly 
Aryan  ?  Considerations  just  mentioned,  reinforced 
by  other  significant  evidence,  suggest  that  our  ethno 
graphy  should  recognise  in  Media  at  least  two  strains, 
a  conquering  caste  and  a  more  numerous  aboriginal 
folk.  The  anxiety  of  Cambyses  lest  by  Gaumata's 
success  the  kingdom  should  pass  to  the  Medes — the 
manifest  fact  that  Gaumata's  usurpation  was  popular, 
in  that  it  meant  the  triumph  of  the  indigenous  over 
the  alien  power,— these  and  cognate  indications  would 
seem  to  imply  that  Median  was  not  simply  a  different 
branch  of  one  Aryan  stock,  but  the  language  of  a 
people  racially  distinct  from  the  Aryan  Persians. 
And  if  Tiele  really  means  to  depend  on  the  names 
of  the  Median  kings  as  his  central  evidence,  we  may 
show  the  weakness  of  the  case  by  simply  turning  to 
the  history  of  Cyrus.  He  and  Cambyses  were  most 
certainly  Aryans,  for  they  were  Achaemenids,  and 
they  probably  had  Aryan  names :  there  is  at  least  as 
strong  a  case  for  this  claim  as  there  is  for  making 
Deioces  Aryan.  But  Cyrus  did  not  originally  rule 
over  Aryans,  for  his  own  Cylinder  Inscription  shows 
that  he  was  King  of  Ansan.  Who  rules  over  Aryans 
need  not  himself  be  Aryan — or  vice  versa\  Tiele 


thinks  that  the  names  of  Median  kings  in  the 
eighth  century,  down  to  the  reign  of  Sargon  II.  in 
Assyria,  are  not  Aryan  in  sound.  The  list  of  Ctesias, 
which  Oppert  tried  to  explain  from  what  we  now 
call  the  Susianian,  he  rejects,  but  insists  on  the 
Aryan  character  of  FravartiS  (^paopr^,  Uvaksatara 
(Kva^dpw),  and  Dahyuka  (Ai/foicw).  The  last  named 
is  the  subject  of  Prof.  Sayce's  naive  note  (Hero 
dotus,  p.  62),  "  A  reign  of  fifty- three  years  indicates 
its  unhistorical  character."  Queen  Victoria  had 
nearly  disposed  of  this  argument  when  he  wrote, 
or  "  indicated  her  unhistorical  character."  Assuming 
in  preference  that  "  the  discoveries  of  recent  years  " 
have  not  quite  "  brought  to  an  end,"  as  Prof.  Sayce 
declares  (p.  xxxiii),  "the  long  controversy  which  has 
raged  over  the  credibility  of  Herodotus,"  and  that  in 
all  sorts  of  unexpected  places  the  old  historian  gives 
us  hints  which  enable  us  to  solve  problems  otherwise 
hopeless,  I  should  incline  to  read  the  history  in  a  very 
different  way  from  Tiele.  Herodotus  not  only  gives 
names  of  Median  kings  which  may  plausibly  be 
interpreted  as  Aryan,  but  he  tells  a  romantic  story 
which  connects  Cyrus  with  the  Median  royal  family. 
What  if  that  story  starts  from  a  germ  of  truth  after 
all  ?  I  am  not  proposing  to  rehabilitate  Astyages 
as  Cyrus's  maternal  grandfather.  But  I  do  think  it 
possible  that  Aryan  kings  in  Media  may  have  been 
members  of  the  same  conquering  race  which  under 
the  early  Achsemenids  established  itself  in  Elam. 
The  ' Api^avroi,  whose  chieftains  they  were,  become 
in  this  way  a  warlike  tribe  pushing  west  from  the 
prehistoric  home  of  both  branches  of  the  Aryans,  and 
subjugating  a  weak  native  population,  just  as  the 

THE   MAGI  233 

Achaians  and  the  Dorians  successively  subjugated 
Hellas.  I  am  not  sure  that  the  resemblance  may 
not  be  something  more  than  a  fortuitous  parallel. 
The  eight-footer  Achasmenid  Artachaees  (Herodotus, 
vii.  117)  was  probably  typical  of  Persian  physique, 
although  of  course  an  outstanding  specimen  ;  and  it 
is  hardly  a  wild  flight  of  fancy  to  make  the  Persians 
cousins  of  the  Achaians,  sprung  alike  from  the  great 
Northern  stock  which  gave  big  bones  and  muscles  to 
Homer's  Greece,  dowered  heretofore  with  little  beyond 
Vains.1  But  all  this  is  in  the  nature  of  things  highly 
speculative,  and  I  return  to  what  is  certain.  I  only 
wish  to  claim  here  that  the  Aryan  element  in  Media, 
as  in  Elam  and  Persis,  is  reasonably  regarded  as 
limited  to  a  small  but  dominant  race,  which  in  parts 
of  this  area  imposed  its  language  upon  the  conquered, 
like  our  Saxon  fathers  when  they  invaded  Britain. 
Strabo's  statement  (xv.  2.  8  ;  p.  724)  that  Persians  and 
Medes  were  o/xo-yAtorrot  Trapa  /uuKpov  belongs  to  a  period 
when  Persian — now  verging  towards  Middle  Persian 2 
—had  become  the  prevailing  language  of  the  Arsacid 
kingdom.  When,  therefore,  he  says  (p.  529)  that  the 
Medes  call  an  arrow  Tiypi?  ( =  LAv  tiyris),  he  is  not 
contributing  towards  the  refutation  of  our  thesis. 
Indeed,  the  passage  quoted  above  might  even  be 
turned  in  our  favour,  for  Strabo  expressly  says  that 
the  name  Ariane  covers  partially  Persians  and  Medes, 

1  On  this  see  my  essay  in  the  volume  dedicated  to  Prof.  Ridge- 
way,  referred  to  above,  p.  5. 

2  Cumont  (Textes  et  Monuments,  p.  11  n.)  notes  the  name  Meker- 
dates  in  Tacitus,  Ann.  xi.  10,  showing  the  Middle  Persian  Mihir  for 
(Mifyas)  MiOra :  the  date  at  which  this  presumably  young  man  is 
named  as  a  candidate  for  the   Parthian  throne  is  47  A.D.     That   is 
only  two  generations  after  Strabo. 


and  Bactrians  and  Sogdians  to  the  north,  which  are 
in  fact  nearly  of  one  speech  with  (Persians  and  Medes).1 
It  is  not  quite  clear  whether  all  four  Aryan  folk-names 
are  subject  to  «V«/,  or  only  the  last  two.  But  any 
how  the  Persians  and  Medes  are  assumed  to  be  of 
Aryan  speech,  and  yet  there  is  still  a  qualification 
suggesting  that  the  Aryan  speech  does  not  cover  the 
whole  of  their  area  even  in  Strabo's  day.  The  Aryan 
character  of  the  Sogdians  has  been  shown  to  us 
finally  by  the  extensive  new  documents,  but  of 
course  these  are  of  a  still  later  date.  So  also  are  the 
Manichasan  MSS.  from  Turfan,  which  include  Middle 
Persian  and  some  specimens  of  a  dialect  supposed  by 
Miiller  to  be  the  language  of  Khorassan,  "  the  refuge 
of  the  Manichceans"  (Fliigel).2 

I  should  not  wish  to  press  very  far  any  conclusions 

Se  TOVVOfta  7-775  'Apiav?5s  p-^XP1  Atepou?  TIVOS  KOL 
Koi  M^Soov  /cat  ert  TOJV  Trpos  apKTOv  BaxTptW  Kai  SoyStavaiv  •  etcrt  yap  TTOJS 
KGU  6//.dyAa)TTOt  Trapa  /xiKpov  (p.  724). 

2  There  are  some  features  in  the  scanty  relics  of  this  dialect 
which  bring  it  nearer  Avestan  than  the  bulk  of  the  MSS.  Thus 
the  numeral  four  is  here  catfdr  instead  of  cahar  (cajar  once,  p.  46)  : 

five  is  panj,  pancamik  (ordinal),  against  panz.  One  document  (p.  101) 
shows  the  word  zavar,  with  the  M.P.  zor  (  =  strength)  in  the 
Pahlavi  part  of  the  same  fragment  :  I  note  five  other  instances  of 
zavar  in  Miiller's  texts,  and  assume  that  these  survivals  are  due  to 
dialect-mixture.  Specially  interesting  are  the  small  fragments  on 
p.  98  f.  which  give  the  panj  marlaspandtih,  "five  holy  elements  "- 
the  last  word  is  doubtful;  they  are  'artav  fravartty,  "pure  ether 
(spirit),"  vat,  "  wind,"  'artakhumt,  "pure  light,"  'ap,  "water,"  'dtar, 
"fire."  In  the  other  texts  (M.P.)  we  have  vdd,  'ab,  adiir.  To 

fravartiy  we  must  return,  only  noting  here  that  both  it  and  aria 
show  rt  against  the  peculiar  Avestan  sh  (asa,  fravasi).  Once  more 
we  have  8/3ara,  "door,"  which  is  nearer  Avestan  than  dar  of  the 
M,P.  texts.  But  these  do  not  bring  us  yet  anything  peculiar  to 
the  Avestan  dialect. 

THE   MAGI  235 

that  might  be  drawn  from  the  affinities  I  have  thus 
sketched.  They  lead  us,  I  think,  to  realise  more 
effectively  the  consequences  of  the  fact  that  Media 
is  the  Western  limit  of  Iranian  language  in  ancient 
times.  Except  for  the  perplexing  Indian  (or  Aryan) 
gods  at  Boghaz-keui  and  the  assumed  Iranian  names 
of  Mitanni  chiefs,  near  the  middle  of  the  second 
millennium,  we  have  no  sign  of  Aryan  language  west 
of  the  forty-second  meridian,  to  which  limit  the  Medes 
and  the  Karduchi  (Kurds)  represent  the  Iranian 
branch.1  Iranian  speech  manifestly  claims  more  and 
more  of  the  ground  as  we  go  east.  It  is,  therefore, 
at  least  natural  to  suggest  that  Media  was  the  resist 
ing  medium  in  which  the  Iranian  migration  westward 
was  arrested,  only  a  proportion  of  the  population 
being  affected  by  the  language  invasion  from  Persia. 
The  net  result  is  that  linguistic  probabilities  tend  to 
reinforce  the  inference,  drawn  above  on  stronger 
grounds,  that  the  Magi  were  part  of  the  indigenous 
population  of  Media.  They  may  have  been  sooner  or 
later  assimilated  to  the  Persians  in  speech,  but  in  racial 
characteristics,  and  in  customs  preserved  by  them  from 
a  remote  antiquity  as  a  sacred  tribe,  they  owe  nothing 
to  either  Aryans  or  Semites,  and  are  purely  aboriginal. 

1  Can  the  Kurds  represent  a  swarm  of  nomads  that  left  the  main 
stream  and  struck  southwards  before  reaching  the  north  of  the 
Caspian?  The  Sarmatae,  just  the  other  side  of  the  Caucasus,  and 
the  Ossetes  who  still  hold  the  Caucasus  region,  mark  this  path  of 
Iranian  migration.  We  could  account  for  the  Iranian  chiefs  of  the 
Mitanni  in  this  way.  As  to  Boghaz-keui,  we  must  be  content  to 
wait  for  more  information,  and  hold  ourselves  prepared  to  tear  up 
some  pet  theories,,  if  necessary,  when  it  comes.  On  the  Iranian 
character  of  Mitanni  names  I  should  be  sorry  to  dogmatise.  Have 
we  really  evidence  enough  ?  (Compare  p.  423  n.2.) 


Having  attempted  thus  to  answer  the  question  as 
to  the  affinities  of  the  Magi  on  the  eastern  side  of 
their  native  land,  we  may  proceed  to  ask  whether 
they  had  affinities  on  the  west.  It  will  be  convenient 
to  enlarge  the  question  to  include  Parsism  as  we 
have  it,  whether  Magian  or  Iranian,  reformed  or 
unreformed.  How  far,  then,  is  Babylonian  civilisation 
responsible  for  Avestan  ideas  ?  There  is  a  strong 
party  among  Oriental  historians  who  are  bent  on 
finding  Babylon  everywhere.  I  am  not  an  expert 
in  Semitic  matters,  and  shall  not  even  ask  the  obvious 
questions  as  to  the  evidence  on  which  we  are  to  regard 
the  Babylonian  mind  as  the  one  great  original  force 
in  Oriental  thought.  But  before  I  shut  myself  up 
within  my  own  proper  corner,  I  cannot  help  express 
ing  satisfaction  in  some  signs  of  the  times.  I  am  not 
listening  for  the  shout,  "  Babylon  the  Great  is  fallen," 
from  serried  ranks  of  scholarship  ;  but  some  check  to 
the  extravagance  of  a  few  learned  enthusiasts  is  not 
unwelcome.  My  predecessor  in  this  Lectureship, 
Dr  Farnell,  has  in  his  Greece  and  Babylon  rescued 
Hellas  from  absorption ;  and  believers  in  the  most 
original  nation  of  history  will  read  his  concluding 
sentence  with  relief:— 

So  far,  then,  as  oar  knowledge  goes  at  present,  there  is 
no  reason  for  believing  that  nascent  Hellenism,  wherever 
else  arose  the  streams  that  nourished  its  spiritual  life,  was 
fertilised  by  the  deep  springs  of  Babylonian  religion  or 

With  this  we  may  set  the  rebuke  which  professional 
astronomers  have  been  administering  to  a  distin 
guished  group  of  Assyriologists  who  have  built  up 
a  system  of  "Astral  Mythology"  without  apparently 

THE   MAGI  237 

thinking  it  necessary  to  learn  some  astronomy.  The 
glory  of  Hipparchus  as  the  first  discoverer  of  preces 
sion  has  been  restored  ;  and  with  all  our  admiration  for 
a  pioneer  civilising  agency,  we  are  no  longer  obliged 
to  credit  Babylon  in  the  second  or  third  millennium 
with  the  lead  in  every  department  of  thought.1 

So  far  as  I  can  see,  Parsism  is  as  independent  of 
Babylon  as  was  Hellenism  itself.  Its  silences  are 
very  eloquent.  I  may  put  first  one  that  follows 
naturally  on  the  topic  just  referred  to.  If  Babylon 
was  not  quite  so  learned  in  star-lore  as  some  enthusi 
astic  imaginations  have  feigned  her,  there  can  of  course 
be  no  question  as  to  the  prominence  of  astrology  in 
her  religion.  And  in  Parsism  this  is  most  conspicu 
ously  absent.  We  have  seen  that  the  Magi  had  a 
great  reputation  as  astrologers,  but  that  it  was  in  their 
own  right :  astrology  never  was  at  home  in  Parsism 
proper.  Few  sacred  books  have  less  about  the  stars 
than  the  Avesta.  There  is  Tishtrya,  the  obvious 
exception  that  proves  the  rule.  But  it  has  been 
already  observed  that  there  is  no  suggestion  of  astro 
logy  in  the  use  thus  made  of  the  most  brilliant  of  the 
fixed  stars — only  a  very  natural  mythology,  account 
ing  for  the  fact  that  Sirius  disappears  in  the  Sun's  rays 
just  during  the  hottest  season  of  the  year,  the  "  dog 
days."5  In  early  Parsism  there  is  never  a  sign  of  that 
element  which  was  so  pervasive  in  Babylonian  theo 
logy,  nor  does  the  later  development  show  any  in 
vasion  of  the  kind. 

1  See  the  severe  criticism  of  "  Astral  Mythology,"  by  Mr  E.  W. 
Maunder  of  Greenwich  Observatory,  in  the  London  Quarterly  Review 
for  October  1912. 

2  On  this  subject  see  p.  23  f. 


Another  pervasive  element  in  Babylonian  theology 
is  the  pairing  off  of  deities,  and  the  prominence  of 
mother-goddesses.  This  is  most  significantly  absent 
in  early  Parsism.  The  Greeks  observed l  that  Persian 
religion  knew  no  sex  distinction  among  divinities,  and 
for  the  most  genuine  Zoroastrianism  this  is  strictly 
true.  There  is,  of  course,  one  very  prominent  goddess 
in  the  Avesta  as  we  have  it.  Anahita  claims  a  Yasht 
to  herself,  and  it  is  apparently  as  old  as  any  other 
Yasht.  But  that  Anahita  is  a  foreigner  all  our 
evidence  converges  to  prove.  In  the  time  of  Hero 
dotus  the  cult  was  new,  and  the  historian's  blunder 
in  calling  her  "  Mitra  " 2  suggests  that  she  was  at  first 
simply  a  pendant  to  the  great  Aryan  divinity,  devised 
on  the  model  familiar  to  the  Semites.  Herodotus 
himself  asserts  that  the  cult  came  "  from  the  Assyrians 
and  the  Arabians."  Her  name,  "  the  undefiled,"  is  a 
cult  title  of  a  type  familiar  to  us  in  Greek  religion— 
as  Zei/9  MeiA/x<o?  and  the  like.  But,  as  sometimes 
happens  in  Greek,  there  is  considerable  suspicion  of 
popular  etymology.  Jensen3  pointed  out  that  the 
name  stood  as  Nahitta  in  the  Susianian  version  of 
the  inscription  of  Mnemon,  which  might  come  from 
an  Elamite  Nahunti.  Cumont4  mentions  as  pos 
sibly  connected  the  Semitic  Anat,  which  Tiele  also 
mentions,  though  preferring  another  connexion.  In 
the  same  note  (Religionsgesch.,  ii.  255  n.)  he  even 
suggests  that  Ardvi  Sura  ("  moist  and  mighty,"  on 

1  See  Diogenes  Laertius  below,  p.  413,  and  note  there. 

2  See  p.  394. 

8  In  WKZM,  1892,  p.  66.  Cf.  also  W.  Foy's  discussion  of  the 
inscription  in  the  same  journal,  1900,  pp.  277  ff. 

4  ERE,  i.,  s.v.  Anahita.     See  further  below,  p.  394. 

THE   MAGI  239 

Bartholomae's  view)  was  an  attempt  to  translate  the 
title  rubat  belit,  often  attached  to  I  star's  name.  On 
some  views  of  the  meaning  of  ardvi  this  would  not 
be  at  all  impossible :  if  it  were  akin  to  Lat.  arduos, 
the  meaning  "  exalted  lady "  would  bring  it  near 
enough  to  the  Babylonian  title  in  question.  On  this, 
however,  I  am  not  able  to  express  an  opinion,  and 
will  only  say  that  a  priori  grounds  for  expecting 
both  name  and  cult  to  be  ultimately  Babylonian  are 
strong.  This  does  not  prevent  its  having  been 
grafted  upon  an  Iranian  river-cult,  specially  con 
nected  with  the  Oxus.  But  the  late  arrival  of 
Anahita  upon  the  scene  of  Zoroastrianism,  coupled 
with  the  express  statement  of  Herodotus,  makes  her 
foreign  origin  fairly  certain.  We  can  even  date  the 
rise  of  the  cult  as  an  element  in  Iranian  religion. 
Artaxerxes  Mnemon  is  the  first  of  the  Achaemeriian 
Kings  to  name  any  god  but  Mazdah,  and  he  prays  to 
"  Auramazda,  Anahita,  and  Mithra."  Three  times  in 
the  Old  Persian  inscriptions  he  names  the  deities  in 
this  order,  with  the  Mother-goddess  significantly 
before  the  old  Iranian  deity,  who  was  apparently 
being  used1  to  cover  her  advance.  (It  may  even  be 
significant  that  Artaxerxes  III.  (Ochus)  names  only 
"  Auramazda  and  the  god  (baga)  Mithra  " :  among 
Iranians  the  cult  of  the  Mother  was  not  likely  to  thrive 
greatly,  and  Mithra  might  easily  carry  off  her  spoils, 
after  having  been  reintroduced  very  largely  in  the  char 
acter  of  a  male  counterpart  for  Anahita  on  the  Semitic 
model.)  Now  we  read  in  Berosus 2  that  Mnemon  was 

1  If  the  mistake  of  Herodotus  in  calling  her  Mirpo,  may  be  ex 
plained  as  on  p.  238. 

2  Fragm.  16,  ap.  Clem.  Alex.,  Protrept.,  v.  §  65  (p.  57). 


the  pioneer  in  introducing  images  of  the  gods,  am 
the  worship  of  Anaitis,  whose  statue  he  set  up  "  ii 
Babylon,  Susa,  and  Ecbatana  for  Persians  am 
Bactrians,1  and  Damascus  and  Sardis."  We  cai 
hardly  doubt  that  in  the  Yasht  dedicated  to  Anahit 
we  have  a  description  of  her  drawn  from  one  of  thes< 
statues— a  useful  incidental  evidence  for  the  datini 
of  the  Yashts.  How  she  took  over  functions  origin 
ally  appropriate  to  the  Fravashis  in  the  unreforme* 
Iranian  religion,  and  to  Haurvatat  and  Ameretat  it 
Zarathushtra's  system,  is  explained  elsewhere.2  , 

In  this  conspicuous  but  late  feature  of  the  religion 
then,  we  may  frankly  acknowledge  a  debt.     This,  how 
ever,  is  clearly  not  enough  to  account  for  Prof.  Eduarc 
Meyer's  emphatic  statement  that  "Babylon  ...  in 
fluenced  most  strongly  the  civilisation  and   religio 
of  Iran."     When  we  turn  to  Meyer's  Geschichte  w 
find   that   the  statement  just  quoted  may  easily  b 
misunderstood.3     He  insists  that  the  influence  belong 
to  the  Persian  period.     Babylon  was  responsible  fc , 
fixing  the  Amshaspands  as  seven — answering  to  th  • 
planetary  deities, — but  had  nothing  to  do  with  thei 
original   conception   nor   with    that   of    the    India 
Adityas,  as  Oldenberg  would  like  us  to  believe.     I 
fact,  the  religious  elements  assignable  to  Babylonia 
influence,  on  Meyer's  own  showing,  are  so  late  an 
so  relatively  unimportant  that  it  is  not  quite  easy  t 

1  We  should  connect  this  with  her  Iranian  origin  as  genius  of  th 
Oxus   river.     Meyer,  however    (Gesch.,  iii.   126),  renders  "in  Pe 
sepolis  and  Baktria  "  :  the  text  seems  corrupt. 

2  Compare  the  argument  at  the  close  of  Lecture  II.;  and  on  th 
relation  of  Anahita  to  the  Fravashis  and  the  last  two  Amshaspand 
see  p.  271  f. 

3  See  especially  iii.  126. 

THE   MAGI  241 

3e  how  his  compendious  statement  of  the  extent  of 
hat   influence   can   be   acquitted  of  exaggeration— 
erhaps  in  the  process  of  Anglicising  his  article  for 
ppearance  in  the  Encyclopaedia  ! 
'  A  few  lines  should  be  given  to  this  matter  of  the 
leptad,  a  subject  which  has  already  been  discussed 

k-  |p.  98  f.).     We  have  seen  that  the  Hymns  of  Zara- 

hushtra  are   full  of  the  divine   attributes  which  at 

later   period  were   collected    into  a  sacred    hexad, 

nth    the    name    amdsa    sp9nta    (Amshaspands),    or 

Holy  Immortals."     But   the    Gathas  do  not  even 

ive  us  a  hexad  :  there  are  other  abstractions  there 

,ith  the  rank  of  ahura,  and  we  have  no  statement 

,rhich  would  show  us  where  to  draw  the  line.     There 

;   accordingly  an   innovation  when  with   the   prose 

Seven     Chapters    Gatha "    the    Amshaspands   are 

ollected  into  one  body  with  a  special  name.     And 

&  /hen  in  the  Yashts,  later  still,  we  find  Mazdah 
ssociated  with  the  Six  to  make  a  Heptad — or 
Jraosha  added  to  their  company  so  as  to  produce  a 
iody  of  "  seven  spirits  before  the  Throne," — we  are 
iaturally  inclined  to  recognise  influence  from  the 

1     Jabylonian  planetary  gods.     It  is  worth  noticing  that 

'ft  yhen  at  a  very  early  date  the  name  of  Mazdah  him- 
elf  was  borrowed  by  the  Assyrians,1  he  was  con- 
iccted  with  seven  Igigi,  spirits  whose  "  sevenness  " 
nay  very  well  have  supplied  the  hint  for  post- 
iathic  Parsism.  As  Tiele-Soderblom  (p.  227  f.) 
uggests,  we  may  possibly  recognise  Semitic  in- 
luence  in  other  Indian  and  Iranian  sevens.  When, 
hen,  Cheyne  and  Gunkel  claim  for  the  Semitic 
ide  what  proved  the  ultimate  form  of  Persian 

1  Assara  Mazds,  see  p.  31. 




"  archangelology,"    we    may   acquiesce   without    re 

Two  suggestions  of  Spiegel1  have  been  taken  up 
by  later  writers.  Prof.  Meyer  thinks  that  the  pure 
Zarathushtrian  system  made  every  man  meet  an 
individual  judgement  three  days  after  death :  in 
contrast  with  this  stands  the  idea  of  a  general  day 
of  judgement,  which  must  therefore  be  an  importa 
tion.  We  must  reserve  the  "  Great  Transaction," 
as  it  is  a  Gathic  conception,  which,  however, 
would  on  the  Prophet's  own  scheme  be  a  new 
beginning  for  the  world  as  a  whole,  and  need  have 
no  relation  to  the  individual.  If  the  Semitists  care 
to  claim  the  impulse  that  brought  the  individual 
into  this  scheme,  no  harm  is  done.  Prof.  H. 
Zimmern 2  thinks  the  idea  of  an  end  of  the  world  by 
fire  is  probably  Babylonian.  His  only  evidence  is 
Berosus  (in  Seneca) ;  and  one  would  like  to  ask  of 
those  who  think  the  ayah  \susta 3  borrowed,  whether 
the  Stoics  must  also  have  borrowed  their  eKTrvpoxw. 
We  should  need  very  good  evidence  indeed  to  prove 
Babylonian  influence  upon  Zarathushtra's  own  teach 
ing,  such  as  this  one  suggestion  would  involve. 

Two  smaller  points  may  be  added  from  Gunkel4— 
the  assignment  of  each  month  and  each  day  to  its 
special  genius  ;  and  the  recognition  of  four  "  regent " 
stars,  one  in  each  quarter  of  the  sky,  as  seen  in  the 
Tishtrya  Yasht.  The  former  may  have  been  in 

1  Eran.  Altertumskunde,  ii.  165-7. 

2  InKAT3,  560. 

3  See    Lecture  V.  for  this  and  other  eschatological  ideas  here 
alluded  to. 

4  Zum  religionsgeschichtlichen  Verst'dndnis  des  N.  T.,  pp.  1 7  and  8  n. 
— the  former  from  E.  Meyer. 

THE   MAGI  243 

operation  in  the  early  Achasmenian  age,  and  has  of 
course  no  connexion  with  Zarathushtra.  The  latter, 
with  anything  else  that  implied  a  careful  observation 
of  the  stars,  might  as  well  come  from  the  Magi  as 
from  Babylon.  Prof.  Gunkel's  next  point,  that  "  the 
division  of  world  history  as  a  world-year  into  four 
great  ages  is  probably  found  in  Berosus,  and  depends 
on  the  Babylonian  observation  of  solar  precession," 
must,  as  shown  on  p.  237,  drop  its  last  element  under 
the  astronomer's  proof  that  the  Babylonians  knew 
nothing  whatever  of  precession  till  they  could  learn 
it  from  Hipparchus.  As  we  see  below  (p.  404  f.), 
there  is  very  great  doubt  whether  the  Four  Ages 
entered  Parsism  before  the  Sassanian  epoch. 

There  may  be  other  features  of  Later  Avestan 
religion  in  which  Babylonian  influence  could  be 
reasonably  suspected.  I  have  no  desire  whatever 
to  contest  them.  The  complete  freedom  of  "  Early 
Zoroastrianism  "  from  such  influence  comes  out  more 
and  more  clearly  from  the  inquiry,  and  constitutes  a 
new  proof  not  so  much  of  its  antiquity — for  to  outdo 
Babylon  in  antiquity  we  should  need  to  put  Zara 
thushtra  back  with  the  classical  writers  to  6000  B.C.— 
as  of  its  geographical  separation.  We  might  even  pre 
sent  some  items  to  make  a  case  for  borrowing  in  the 
opposite  direction.  There  is,  as  already  observed,  an 
adaptation  of  the  Iranian  divine  name  to  the  Assyrian 
pantheon,  and  the  date  must  fall  in  the  second  millen 
nium.  With  this  may  be  set  the  fact  that  the  winged 
solar  disk  as  a  symbol  of  deity  was  borrowed  from 
Egypt  alike  byAchsemenian  Persians  and  by  Assyrians. 
Whether  independently  or  not,  and  by  which  people 
first,  I  have  no  qualifications  for  deciding. 


The  possibility  that  Babylon  infected  the  Aryans 
in  their  prehistoric  unity  has  been  mooted  by  notable 
scholars,  of  whom  we  need  only  name  Johannes 
Schmidt  and  Hermann  Oldenberg.  The  former 
devised,  a  generation  since,  the  one  argument,  worth 
calling  an  argument,  which  has  ever  been  urged  in 
favour  of  the  old  assumption  that  the  Indo-European 
Urheimat  was  in  Asia.  Schmidt  found  certain  con 
tacts  between  the  Indo-European  numeral  system  and 
the  Babylonian  sexagesimal  reckoning,  and  one  or 
two  in  the  culturally  most  important  field  of  metals. 
The  inference  was  that  our  language-family  must 
have  radiated  from  some  region  within  reach  of 
Babylonian  civilisation.  But  Hirt  proved  that  the 
peculiarities  of  our  numeral  system  showed  really 
a  duodecimal  system,  not  a  sexagesimal,  crossing  the 
decimal  at  certain  points  :  our  own  eleven  and  twelve, 
against  the  'teens,  are  enough  to  illustrate  it.  And 
one  or  two  similarities  in  the  names  of  metals  can 
clearly  prove  nothing.  We  know  too  well  what  the 
long  arm  of  coincidence  can  achieve  in  language 
to  rest  far-reaching  conclusions  upon  much  closer 
resemblances  than  these. 

Prof.  Oldenberg's  venture l  is  less  daring.  He  asks 
whether  the  contrast  of  Varuna  and  Indra,  the  ethical 
and  the  mere  elemental  divinity,  may  not  betray 
signs  of  contact  with  the  West.  The  Semites 
reached  an  ethical  view  of  life  earlier  than  the  Indo- 
Europeans  :  is  it  a  mere  chance  that  suspicion  of 
Semitic  influence  should  suggest  itself  here  in  the 
similar  tone  of  an  Accadian- Babylonian  hymn  to  the 
Moon-god,  and  in  Vedic  hymns  to  Varuna,  who  foi 

1  Religion  des  Veda,  195.     See  also  p.  74  n.  l,  above. 

THE   MAGI  245 

Oldenberg  represents  the  moon  ?  If  Prof.  Olden- 
berg  is  right — and  his  great  authority  prompts  us 
to  give  any  suggestion  of  his  a  most  respectful 
hearing, — we  should  probably  go  beyond  his  actual 
proposal,  and  find  the  contact  in  the  Aryan  period. 
For  obviously  what  is  said  of  Varuna  applies 
much  more  emphatically  to  Ahura  Mazdah.  But 
after  all  we  find  plenty  of  abstractions  in  primitive 
Roman  religion,  and  ethical  conceptions  in  the  earliest 
Greek  thought  that  we  know.  Themis  and  Ananke 
—the  last  not  unlike  Asha  in  some  respects — were 
even  independent  of  Zeus.  Is  it  not  at  least  un- 
proven  that  an  Indo-European  people  was  wholly 
incapable  of  discoveries  on  these  lines  ?  A  people 
whose  worship  included  the  Sky,  loftiest  of  all 
nature-deities,  and  those  ancestor-gods  who  are  ever 
the  most  potent  to  stir  up  the  feeling  of  a  close  bond 
between  religion  and  conduct,  had  native  material 
on  which  to  work  without  help  from  the  outside. 

So  we  may,  I  venture  to  think,  dismiss  all  round 
the  notion  that  Parsism  owes  anything  material  to 
the  religion  of  the  powerful  culture  on  her  west. 
The  conclusion  would  have  been  popular  with  the 
poets  of  the  Yashts,  who  would  certainly  be  slow  to 
admit  that  they  had  borrowed  from  that  quarter. 
Azhi  Dahaka,  the  three-headed  dragon,  had  his 
abode  in  13awri  (Yt  529) :  so  early  did  the  name  of 
the  great  city  acquire  the  sinister  connotation  it  has 
held  through  many  ages !  In  the  light  of  that 
antagonism  I  cannot  greatly  wonder  that  only  in 
secondary  and  inconsiderable  matters  the  Parsi  Bible 
took  anything  from  Babel. 

We  must  now  turn  to  another  field  in  which  it 


will  prove  that  Magianism  has  been  at  work.  It 
takes  us  westward  again,  and  the  result  of  the 
inquiry  will  be  to  confirm  by  another  line  of  evi 
dence  the  case  we  have  been  constructing.  Once 
more  we  find  influences  credited  to  "  Persian  religion  " 
which  turn  out  to  have  been  almost  exclusively 
Magian ;  and  once  more,  by  the  unexpected  absence 
of  characteristically  Zarathushtrian  traits,  we  are 
led  to  comment  on  the  meagreness  of  proof  that 
the  Iranian  Prophet's  doctrine  had  any  real  influence 
outside  Eastern  Iran  before  the  Sassanian  era.  The 
establishment  of  this  thesis,  that  the  Magi  are  really 
responsible  for  everything  in  Zoroastrianism  that 
influenced  the  Western  world,  is  so  important  that 
we  may  reasonably  devote  considerable  space  to  the 
new  evidence  on  this  account,  quite  apart  from  the 
intrinsic  interest  of  the  subject  itself. 

That  there  is  some  connexion  between  the  Book 
of  Tobit  and  Iranian  religion  has  long  been  recog 
nised  ;  but  the  nature  of  that  connexion  has  generally 
been  read  in  what  I  venture  to  call  impossible  ways. 
I  have  been  led  towards  an  amended  form  of  a  theory 
I  set  forth  some  years  ago.1  In  restating  the  theory 
I  shall  offer  in  support  an  attempted  reconstruction 
of  the  story  in  what  I  conceive  to  have  been  something 
like  its  original  shape.  Since  proposing  my  theory 
I  have  received  unexpected  and  welcome  encourage 
ment  from  the  discovery  that  it  had  helped  a  fellow- 
worker  coming  to  the  study  of  Tobit  from  another 
side.  The  Rev.  D.  C.  Simpson,  editing  Tobit  for 
the  Oxford  Apocrypha,  had  used  my  paper  of  1900 
in  building  up  a  theory  that  the  book  was  written 

1  "  The  Iranian  Background  of  Tobit,"  Expository  Times,  xi.  257. 

THE   MAGI  247 

in  Egypt  at  a  considerably  earlier  date  than  some 
critics  allow,  and  that  an  underlying  folk-story  was 
brought  to  Egypt  by  Persian  soldiers  of  the  time 
of  Cambyses.  His  difficulty  was  the  supposed 
presence  of  strictly  Zoroastrian  elements  in  this 
assumed  original.  Meanwhile  I  had  been  myself 
revising  my  own  hypothesis,  and  had  concluded  (as 
will  be  seen  below)  that  there  is  no  need  to  postulate 
anything  at  all  in  the  Median  story  that  bears  the 
stamp  of  Zarathushtra.  My  amended  theory  there 
fore  removes  the  one  difficulty  in  an  account  of  the 
book  framed  on  wholly  independent  lines.  And 
simultaneously  Mr  Simpson's  thesis  fits  in  exactly 
with  my  independent  view  of  the  religion  professed 
by  Cyrus  and  Cambyses,  as  simply  Iranian  daiva- 
worship,  without  any  trace  of  Zarathushtra's  Reform. 
The  date  and  history  of  our  present  Tobit  does  not 
concern  me  here,  for  I  am  only  proposing  to  recon 
struct  out  of  it  an  Iranian  story  used  in  its  com 
position.  I  previously  assumed  that  this  story  came 
into  Israelite  hands  in  Media,  where  were  settled 
the  descendants  of  the  Northerners  deported  by 
Sargon  in  721  B.C.  (cf.  2  Kings  176).  But  clearly 
Mr  Simpson's  view  will  suit  my  requirements  equally 
well.  1  may  content  myself  with  referring  to  his 
argument,  only  remarking  that  Jews  in  Egypt  are 
much  more  likely  to  have  originated  an  edifying 
narrative  of  pure  Yahwism  than  a  community  of 
the  "Lost  Ten  Tribes"  in  Media,  whose  loss  of 
nationality  was  confessedly  due  to  apostasy  from 
the  national  religion. 

Tobit  moves  in  a  Median  atmosphere.     Its  scene 
is  largely  laid  in  Raga,  "  the  Zoroastrian,"  as  it  was 


afterwards  called.  That  it  enshrines  heterogeneous 
folk-lore  is  fairly  obvious,  and  our  theory  only  pre 
sumes  that  for  a  purpose  which  does  not  matter  to 
us  now — Mr  Simpson  has  a  very  ingenious  sugges 
tion — this  was  used  in  the  construction  of  a  story 
adapted  to  Jewish  ideas.  The  old  Semitic  folk- 
story  of  Ahiqar  is  part  of  its  material.  And,  as 
has  been  often  recognised,  the  motive  of  "The 
Grateful  Dead  Man,"'  found  in  the  folk-lore  of  widely 
separated  countries,  lies  at  the  foundation  of  the 
whole  story,  with  the  obvious  substitution  of  an 
angel  for  the  ghost — a  substitution  made  easier  by 
the  fact  that  the  folk- story  in  Media  would  naturally 
introduce  the  dead  man  as  acting  by  his  "double," 
his  "angel"  (Acts  1215),  or,  in  other  words,  his 

My  theory  is  most  satisfactorily  expounded  by  a 
conjectural  restoration  of  the  Median  story  which  I 
postulate  as  the  original  of  Tobit.  I  have  en 
deavoured,  accordingly,  in  an  Appendix  printed  below 
(p.  332  f. ),  to  tell  the  story  in  outline,  with  notes  to 
show  my  sources,  and  to  point  out  the  passages  in 
Tobit  which  I  am  reconstructing,  where  these  are 
not  obvious  from  the  sequence  of  the  tale  itself.  My 
story,  of  course,  pretends  to  no  sort  of  authority :  it 
only  offers  a  specimen  to  show  in  what  way  the 
writer  may  have  adapted  his  material.  He  found,  we 
may  suppose,  a  popular  legend  which  with  some  not 
very  serious  modifications  might  be  used  among  his 
own  co-religionists  in  Egypt  with  clear  possibilities 
of  edification.  Dr  Rendel  Harris's  The  Dioscuri  in 
the  Christian  Legends  gives  abundant  illustrations  of 
a  method  of  adaptation  which  has  been  fruitful  in 

THE   MAGI  249 

later  days,  though  rarely,  if  ever,  applied  so  wisely 
and  well.1  With  such  a  purpose,  quietly  ignoring 
the  features  which  his  own  religion  could  not  accept, 
•  'our  author  rewrote  the  Marc/ten,  saying  to  himself 
the  while, 

"  Truth  embodied  in  a  tale 
Shall  enter  in  at  lowly  doors." 

Leaving,  then,  most  of  the  details  of  my  case  to  be 
gathered  from  the  text  and  notes  of  my  hypothetical 
"  Median  folk-story  "  as  reconstructed  below,  I  put 
together  here  a  few  general  arguments  in  its  favour. 
The  case  rests  upon  the  broad  fact  that  there  are 
traces  in  Tobit  of  the  most  important  factors  in 
Magianism,  as  distinguished  from  the  other  strata  in 
complete  Avestan  Parsism.  Magic  may  clearly  be 
recognised  in  the  use  made  of  the  fish's  heart,  gall,  and 
liver,  though  of  course  this  is  not  specially  distinctive. 
The  extraordinary  stress  laid  upon  burial  is  most 
naturally  explained  as  an  adaptation  from  an  original 
in  which  a  leading  motive  was  the  proper  treatment 
of  the  bodies  of  the  dead.  Kohut's  suggestion  that 
the  insistence  on  burial  is  anti-Parsic  polemic  does 
not  explain  the  language  used.  Alternative  methods 
of  disposal  are  not  even  hinted  at.  Then  comes 
the  other  specially  Magian  practice,  that  of  consan 
guineous  marriages.  Our  author  comes  fairly  near 
this  when  he  cites  the  example  of  Abraham ;  but 
in  his  story  he  seems  to  contemplate  the  marriage 
of  cousins,  and  his  presumed  Median  original  must 

1  There   are  excellent  examples  in    Mr  J.  C.  Lawson's  Modern 

Greek    Folklore   and   Ancient    Greek    Religion.  Thus   the    Rape    of 

Persephone    survives    in    a    story    of   "Saint  Demetra "    and    her 
daughter,  with  a  Turk  to  play  Hades. 


have  applied  the  doctrine  in  this  way.  Of  course, 
there  is  nothing  in  Tobit  even  to  hint  at  marriage 
within  "prohibited  degrees" — any  more  than  there 
is  a  hint  of  the  dakkma ;  but  the  curious  coinci 
dence  that  two  of  the  most  earnestly  pressed  morals 
of  the  Book  concern  the  proper  treatment  of  the 
dead,  and  the  duty  of  marrying  within  the  kin,  is 
most  naturally  explained  by  such  a  postulate.  The 
absolutely  otiose  dog  which  figures  in  the  story,  so 
utterly  without  meaning  as  it  stands,  and  foreign 
to  all  the  associations  of  the  dog  in  Hebrew  litera 
ture,  bears  out  strongly  our  inference  with  regard 
to  the  former  of  these  two  Magian  practices,  always 
coupled  together  in  the  mind  of  Greek  students  of 
Persian  customs.  And  as  to  the  second,  we  find 
corroboration  in  the  curious  and  illogical  reasons, 
so  often  insisted  on,  for  Tobias's  being  the  husband 
marked  out  for  Sarah  by  the  law  and  the  custom. 
The  appeal  to  Num.  368,  which  figures  in  the  marginal 
reference  at  Tob.  612,  cannot  bear  this  weight,  for  it 
only  prescribes  marriage  within  the  tribe :  we  can 
hardly  assume  that  the  tribe  of  Tobit  was  so  reduced 
that  Tobias  was  the  only  young  man  available  for 
Sarah  as  an  heiress !  If  my  reading  is  right,  the 
original  story  had  the  Khvetuk-das  in  what  has 
always  been  the  popular  form,  current  to-day  as 
the  Parsi  exegesis  of  the  Pahlavi  dicta  on  the  subject, 
the  marriage  of  first  cousins. 

Next  I  come  to  the  most  obvious  contact  with 
Parsism,  the  fiend  Asmodasus.  The  peculiar  form 
in  which  Cod.  B  reads  the  name,  'Ao-poSavs,  ace. 
'Ao-fjuaSaw,  is  clearly  original,  for  'Ao-^ocWo?  is  a  ver) 
palpable  Hellenising  of  a  bizarre  form.  And  witl 

THE   MAGI  251 

ts  acceptance  goes  one  of  the  scanty  reasons  for 
illowing  the  Talmudic  Ashmedai  a  Semitic  ety- 
nology.  As  Griinbaum  pointed  out  long  ago 
ZDMG,  xxxi.  216  ff.),  Ashmedai  in  the  Talmud 
lifFers  widely  from  Asmodasus  in  Tobit  and  Aeshma 
n  the  A  vesta:  he  is  not  really  bad,  but  a  playful 
mp,  with  a  highly  coloured  dramatic  character,  very 
mlike  the  colourless  abstraction  of  Parsi  demonology. 
So  IDfib,  "to  destroy,"  which  would  suit  Tobit,  is 
nappropriate  as  soon  as  we  get  the  word  into  a 
surely  Semitic  atmosphere.  'Ao-juo<W?,  or  still  better 
M0£au9,  comes  very  near  the  Avestan  Aesmo- 
daeva,  when  treated  as  a  single  word.  But  as  I 
think  it  probable  that  all  these  names  came  into 
Greek  through  Old  Persian,  where  alone  they  were 
made  single  words  (see  pp.  109  f.,  425),  I  waive  this  and 
anly  point  out  that  the  v  excellently  represents  the 
P  of  an  O.P.  *Ai#madaiva,  which  is  lost  in  'Ao-^ocWo?. 
Now  it  is  noteworthy  that  in  the  Avesta,  as  we  have 
it,  the  actual  collocation  Aesma  dacva  does  not  occur, 
though  it  does  in  the  Bundahish,  which  is  based  on 
a  mass  of  lost  Avestan  matter.  But  he  is,  in  fact, 
the  chief  of  the  demons  after  Angra  himself,  in  the 
Later  Avesta.  Like  Angra  (see  p.  202),  he  is  only 
a  casual  personification  ("  Wrath ")  in  the  Gathas, 
if,  indeed,  we  are  justified  in  giving  him  the  initial 
capital  at  all.  His  "  bad  pre-eminence  "  appears  to 
be  due  to  the  Magi.  Zarathushtra  had  been  content 
with  very  few  demon  names,  and  the  Magi  had  to 
make  the  most  of  rather  scanty  material.  In  my 
former  paper  I  thought  it  necessary  to  explain  why 
Asmodteus  in  Tobit  was  rather  Lust  than  Hate ; 
but  it  seems  needless  trouble.  Asmodseus  kills 


Sarah's  husbands,  and  his  motive  may  just  as  well 
have  been  the  one  as  the  other,  if  not  rather  both. 

It  remains  to  comment  on  the  only  two  considera 
tions  which  might  militate  against  our  attributing 
Tobifs  original  to  the  Magian  stratum  of  Parsism. 
There  is  just  one  point  in  Tobit  which  seems  to  point 
to  Zarathushtra's  own  contribution,  the  doctrine  oi 
the  Amesha  Spenta.     Raphael  is  one  of  "the  seven 
angels  who  stand  in  the  presence  and  go  in  before 
the    glory    of   the    Lord"    (1215*).       But    in    Zara 
thushtra's  own  system   the  Amesha  were  six\  and 
there  is  reason  to  suspect  Semitic  influence  in  tht 
change   to   seven,   requiring   the   addition   of  eithei 
Ahura  himself  at  their   head  —  which   is   expresslj 
excluded  by  the  language  of  Tob.  1215,  where  "th( 
Holy  One  "  is  added — or  Sraosha  at  the  lower  enc 
of  their  company.     We    may   even  plead  that  th< 
"  seven    Igigi,"   who    accompany   Assara   Mazas    ii 
the  Assyrian  inscription  discussed  elsewhere  (p.  31) 
show  a  very  early  trace  of  this  contamination.     I 
so,  the  original  of  Tobit  is  still  Magian,  and  nee< 
have  no  really  Zoroastrian  elements  at  all. 

This  is  confirmed  by  a  very  notable  omission  in  th' 
Book,  which  at  first  seemed  to  me  a  difficulty.  Ther 
is  not  a  sign  of  any  eschatology.  Those  who  hav< 
dated  theBook  in  the  second  century  A.D. — improbabl 
enough — must  assume  that  it  is  of  Sadducee  origir 
If  purely  Jewish,  and  sufficiently  early,  its  complet 
freedom  from  any  outlook  on  a  future  life  would  b 
no  difficulty.  But  if  it  is  based  on  a  Magian  origins 
we  have  an  equally  good  reason  for  expecting  n 
eschatology.  In  Parsism,  beyond  all  reasonabl 
doubt,  there  was  a  doctrine  of  immortality  in  th 

THE   MAGI  253 

:arliest  Iranian  stratum,  cognate  with  that  in  the 
^eda ;  and  Zarathushtra  enlarged  and  enhanced  it 
ill  it  became  the  very  centre  of  the  Religion.  There 
s  no  element  in  it  in  which  we  can  see  the  smallest 
eason  to  suspect  a  Magian  origin.  Indeed,  as 
3oklen  points  out  (Pars.  Esch.,102),  the  extraordinary 
:are  the  Magi  took  to  destroy  the  corpse  is  (as  ancient 
deas  go)  in  itself  a  presumption  against  their  having 
>riginally  cherished  any  hope  of  a  resurrection.1 

1  As  a  serious  offset  against  the  approval  of  the  editor  of  Tobit 
i  the  Oxford  Apocrypha,  published  while  this  book  was  passing 
hrough  the  press,  I  have  to  record  Bishop  Casartelli's  dissent,  in  an 
nteresting  letter  to  me  (June  6, 1 91 3).  I  cite  the  main  part  in  full  :— 

"  The  book  strikes  me  rather  as  being  of  purely  Jewish  origin, 
>ut  certainly  written  in  a  Mazdean  [Magian  you  would  say]  milieu, 
aid  directly  pointed  against  prevailing  Mazdean  ideas  and  practices 
:is  found  all  round.  Hence  the  insistence  on  earth-burial  as  even 
i  sacred  work,  directed  against  the  ideas  of  nasus,  corpse-pollution, 
itc.  The  very  dog  seems  brought  in  as  the  purely  domestic  house 
log — the  "  harmless,  necessary  "  dog, — stripped  of  all  the  super- 
ititious  ideas  of  the  Sag-did.  The  old  father  is  blinded  by  a 
iwallow's  dung,  i.e.  probably  by  a  bird  belonging  to  Ahura  Mazda's 
•ealm :  physical  evil  therefore  is  not  merely  a  creature  of  Angro- 
Mainyus;  and  so  on.  I  think  this  theme  could  be  plausibly 
A-orked  out." 

In  a  further  letter  (June  13)  he  adds:  "I  did  not  mean  to 
suggest  any  very  overt  '  polemic '  in  Tobit.  It  might  have  been 
ill  the  more  telling  if  merely  implied  in  the  redaction  of  the  book, 
ipart  altogether  from  the  question  of  its  origin." 

It  will  be  noticed  that  Dr  Casartelli  practically  holds  to  Kohut's 
dew,  to  which  I  have  referred  above,  adding  to  it  a  tempting 
suggestion  in  his  interpretation  of  the  swallows.  But  were  they 
swallows  ?  Jerome  thought  so,  but  <rTpov6ia  is  indifferent  warrant 
where  the  precise  ^eX^oves  was  available.  ~2,Tpov6ia  is  a  rather 
general  word  for  small  birds,  many  of  whom  would  belong  to  the 
Creation  of  Ahura  :  here  evidence  is  conflicting.  Herodotus  (below, 
|>.  398)  puts  birds  indiscriminately  into  the  evil  creation,  while 
Plutarch  does  the  reverse  (p.  400). 



The  Earth.  Ere  Babylon  was  dust, 

The  Magus  Zoroaster,  my  dead  child, 
Met  his  own  image  walking  in  the  garden. 
That  apparition,  sole  of  men,  he  saw. 
For  know  there  are  two  worlds  of  life  and  death  : 
One  that  which  thou  beholdest ;  but  the  other 
Is  underneath  the  grave,  where  do  inhabit 
The  shadows  of  all  forms  that  think  and  live, 
Till  death  unite  them  and  they  part  no  more. 

SHELLEY,  Prometheus  Unbound. 

THE  most  conspicuous  of  all  the  conceptions  o 
Parsism  which  do  not  owe  their  origin  to  tin 
Founder,  or  receive  his  seal,  is  that  of  the  Fravashi 
the  spiritual  counterpart  of  a  man.  Since  it  i 
beyond  question  earlier  than  Zarathushtra,  ant 
very  obviously  survived  the  silence  with  which  h> 
treated  it,  we  are  justified  in  bringing  it  within  ou 
survey.  And  since  it  has  had  large  influence  outsid* 
its  original  home,  and  in  its  history  and  developmen 
is  of  high  importance  in  the  philosophy  of  religion 
it  does  not  seem  to  be  disturbing  the  balance  of  thi 
course  if  we  give  the  subject  a  special  investigation 
in  some  detail. 

Persian  religion  claims,  of  course,  no  monopoly  i) 
the  notion  that  every  man  has  a  "  double,"  spiritua 
or  embodied.  The  Egyptian  Ka  is  a  conceptioi 



clearly  independent  but  decidedly  kin.  The  Roman 
Genius,  as  we  shall  see,  stands  very  near  to  the 
Fravashi,  and  the  Greek  ayaOos  Sai/uwv  not  much 
?urther  away.  In  Babylonian  hymns  the  phrase 
'  my  god "  or  "  my  goddess "  is  said  by  Cheyne 
EB,  5440)  to  be  "  equivalent  to  the  worshipper's 
jetter  self."  A  genetic  relation  has  been  more  or 
ess  probably  claimed  for  more  than  one  of  these, 
[n  medieval  thought  the  figure  of  the  Guardian 
Angel  developed  one  side  of  the  conception.  The 
rther  side,  that  of  an  embodied  Doppelganger,  pro- 
iuced  in  popular  legend  a  curious  variety  of  fancies, 
fn  the  lines  quoted  at  the  head  of  this  Lecture, 
Shelley  tells  of  Zoroaster  meeting  his  own  Fravashi, 
is  we  translate  him  ;  and  he  goes  on  with  words  that 
lescribe  the  Parsi  conception  with  remarkable  exact- 
less,1  showing  that  he  had  somehow  got  hold  of 
rood  sources  of  information  as  to  Oriental  lore.  The 
dea  has  been  used  with  tremendous  power  as  an 
illegory  in  Stevenson's  Dr  Jekijll  and  Mr  Hyde. 
NTot  less  effective  as  an  allegory,  and  told  with 
iterary  grace  that  fits  it  to  be  named  even  with 
:hat  masterpiece,  is  Mr  Canton's  story  of  "  The 
King  Orgulous"  in  the  Child's  Book  of  Saints. 
These  very  miscellaneous  parallels,  ranging  from 

1  That  Zoroaster  remained  "  sole  of  men  "  in  this  experience  is 
-•hallenged  by  Goethe,  who  tells  us  in  Dichtung  und  Wahrheit  of  his 
neeting  an  apparition  of  himself  on  horseback.  Indeed,  Shelley 
lad  read  a  similar  story  in  an  Italian  book,  which  so  impressed  him 
;hat  his  friends  one  night  found  him  walking  in  sleep  and  shrieking 
or  terror  in  a  dream  which  repeated  the  story.  (I  owe  the  parallels 
n  this  note  to  my  friend  Mr  Canton,  whom  I  consulted  as  to  the 
•xistence  of  legends  supplying  a  basis  for  his  own  conception.) 
)n  Shelley's  sources,  see  above,  p.  92. 


high  literature  down  to  the  child-like  fancies  of  a 
savage  about  his  shadow,  help  to  illustrate  the 
great  variety  of  applications  which  this  simple  idea 
has  had  in  human  history.  We  may  proceed  now 
to  trace  its  origins  and  development  within  the 
limits  of  Parsism.1 

The  Fravashis  are  beyond  doubt  in  the  first  instance 
ancestor  spirits.  Whether  this  is  their  sole  origin 
as  Soderblom  seems  to  hold,  will  be  discussed  latei 
in  our  inquiry,  which  may  start  from  the  feature; 
which  clearly  attach  themselves  to  this  primitive 
conception.  We  should,  however,  have  before  u; 
from  the  first  the  fact  that  the  Fravashi  takes  ifr 
place  as  one  of  five  souls  belonging  to  men — living 
dead,  or  unborn.  Thus : 

We  adore  the  vitality,  the  self,  the  perception,  the  sou 
and  the  Fravashi 2  of  righteous  (asavan)  men  and  wome 
that  understand  the  Religion,  who  in  present,  future,  c 
past  win  the  victory,  who  have  won  the  victory  for  Ash 
(Yt  13155). 

1  Special  literature  on  the  subject  may  be  mentioned.     Prof,  f 
Soderblom's  monograph,  Les  Fravashis  (in  RHR,  1899),  is  the  mo 
important,  but  it  only  deals  with  one  of  the  two  aspects.     So  do< 
Prof.  E.  Lehmann  in  ERE,  i.  454  f.  ("  Ancestor- worship  and  cult  • 
the  dead  (Iranian)  ").      I  may  refer  also  to  my  forthcoming  articl 
"  Fravashi,"  in  ERE,  and  my  paper,  "  It  is  his  Angel,"  in  Journ.  < 
Theol.  Studies,  1902,  pp.  514-527,  in  which  the  possibility  of  Biblic 
analogues  is  discussed — necessarily  passed  over  here. 

2  These  five  souls,  as  we  might  call  them,  seem  to  be  independe 
of  the  fivefold  division  of  human  personality  in  the  Pahlavi  boo! 
An  unedited  text  from  the  Great  Bundahish  is  thus  given  by  Darn 
steter,  Le  ZA,  ii.  500 : 

Auhrmazd  a  compose  1'homme  de  cinq  Elements — le  corps  (tan),  la  vie  (/a 
1'ame  (ravdn),  la  forme  (dtvinak),  et  le  frdhar  [fravashi].  Le  corps  est 
partie  materielle.  La  vie  est  I'el^ment  lie  au  vent  [two  illegible  words  folio 
L'arue  est  ce  qui,  dans  le  corps,  avec  le  secours  des  sens  (bod),  entend,  vi 


The  Fravashi  is  the  highest  part,  the  divine  and 
mmortal  part,  of  man ;  and  just  as  the  Trvev/j-a  in 
the  New  Testament  is  never  associated  with  "  un- 
>piritual "  men,  so  in  the  developed  Parsi  theology 
;he  Fravashi  was  always,  as  here,  "  of  the  righteous  " 
done.  Originally,  as  we  shall  see,  this  was  only 
jecause  ancestor-spirits  are  manes,  "  good  folks,"  in 
til  sorts  of  religions.  To  them  in  Parsism  belonged 
he  intercalated  last  five  days  of  the  year,  which  made 
ip  the  shortage  of  twelve  thirty-day  months,  together 
vith  the  five  days  preceding  these,  the  "  Gatha  days." 
The  ten,  which  fell  in  March,  were  called  Hama- 
(mOmaedaya :  the  etymology  is  much  disputed.1  In 
iassanian  times  the  name  Farvardigdn  "  (days) 
iclonging  to  the  Fravashis,"  appears :  in  a  record 
f  the  sixth  century  it  is  given  as  (povpSiyav  and 
-anslated  veKvia  (Darmesteter,  Le  ZA,  ii.  503).  The 
ccount  of  this  festival  given  in  Albiruni  (ed.1  Sachau, 

parle  et  connait.  La  forme  (litt.  "  le  miroir,  1'image  ")  est  ce  qui  est  devant 
le  Seigneur  Auhrmazd.  Ces  elements  out  ete  crees  de  telle  nature  que  quand 
sous  Faction  du  demon  I'homme  meurt,  le  corps  retourne  a  la  terre,  la  vie  au 
vent,  la  forme  au  soleil,  et  1'ame  se  lie  au  Frohar,  de  sorte  qu'ils  ne  peuvent 
faire  perir  1'ame. 

ie  "form"  and  the  body  have  ejected  two  of  the  five  spiritual 
ements  of  the  Avestan  text.  "  Vitality/'  "  soul/'  and  Fravashi 
e  common  to  the  two  lists.  "Perception"  (baoftah)  answers  to 
d,  the  senses,  through  which  the  soul  ("rvan,  Pahl.  ravdn)  "  hears, 
es,  speaks,  and  knows." 

A  triple  division  appears  in  the  Dinkart  account  of  the  Prophet's 
itrance  into  this  world  (Jackson,  Zoroaster,  24  f.).  The  Glory  and 
e  Fravashi  I  deal  with  together  below  (p.  275).  The  third  element 
the  "Substantial  Nature  "  (gohar),  or  material  essence,  which  was 
ought  to  Zarathushtra's  parents,  combined  with  the  elements  of 
ilk,  by  the  agency  of  the  twin  Amshaspands  presiding  over  Water 
d  Plants. 

1  See  Soderblom,  Les  Fravashis  (henceforth  cited  as  Sod.),  5  ;  Bar- 
tolomae,  Zum  AirWb,  243. 



p.  210)  may  be  quoted,  before  we  go  back  to  Avestan 
material : 

The  last  five  days  of  this  month  [Aban],  the  first  of 
which  is  Ashtadh,  are  called  Farwardajan.  During  this 
time  people  put  food  in  the  halls  of  the  dead  and  drink 
on  the  roofs  of  the  houses,  believing  that  the  spirits  of 
their  dead  during  these  days  come  out  from  the  places  of 
their  reward  or  their  punishment,  that  they  go  to  the 
dishes  laid  out  for  them,  imbibe  their  strength  and  suck 
their  taste.  They  fumigate  their  houses  with  juniper, 
that  the  dead  may  enjoy  its  smell.  The  spirits  of  the 
pious  men  dwell  among  their  families,  children,  and  rela 
tions,  and  occupy  themselves  with  their  affairs,  although 
invisible  to  them. 

Regarding  these  days  there  has  been  among  the  Persian- 
a  controversy.     According  to  some,  they  are  the  last  fiv; 
days  of  the  month  Aban  ;  according  to  others,  they  are  thi 
Andergah,   i.e.   the    five    Epagomenae   which    are   adde 
between  Aban   and   Adhar-mah.     When  the  controvert 
and   dispute   increased,   they   adopted   all    (ten)   days  i 
order  to  establish  the  matter  on  a  firm  basis,  as  this 
one  of  the  chief  institutes  of  their  religion,  and  becau 
they    wished   to    be   careful,    since    they    were   unable 
ascertain  the  real  facts  of  the  case.     So  they  called  tl 
first  five  days  the  first    Farwardajan,  and  the    followii 
five  days  the  second  Farwardajan ;  the  latter,  however, 
more  important  than  the  former. 

The  first  day  of  these  Epagomenae  is  the  first  day  of  t 
sixth  Gahanbar,  in  which  God  created  man.  It  is  call 
Hama$patmaedhaemgah.  i 

There  are  some  obviously  late  elements  embedd 
in  this  mostly  very  primitive  ritual,  or  rather  in  t 
interpretation  of  it  which  Albiruni  reports  as  cum 
in  his  time  (1000  A.D.).  The  connexion  of  t 
Gahanbars  with  days  of  creation  is  not  of  Avesl 
antiquity,  and  may  be  due  to  Semitic  influence  i 
the  Sassanian  period.  More  important  for  <  ' 


present  purpose  is  the  suggestion  that  the  souls 
returned  from  heaven  and  hell.  This  may  be  only 
Albiruni's  own  inference,  for  it  is  highly  improbable 
:hat  Parsis  would  admit  the  possibility  of  the 
Fravashis'  coming  from  hell.  Indeed,  even  their 
oming  from  heaven  is  incongruous  enough,  when  we 
lote  the  way  the  ritual  provides  for  their  assumed 

ts,  with  food  and  clothing  and  shelter.  The  fes- 
;ival  is  a  manifest  survival,  as  inconsistent  with  the 
ligher  religion  as  the  corresponding  implications  of 
All  Souls'  Day  are  with  the  Christianity  professed  by 
nany  backward  communities  observing  it  in  Europe. 
Uoderblom  (p.  21  f.)  collects  sundry  indications  that 
he  Fravashis  as  souls  of  the  dead  were  conceived  to 

ll  in  places  which  cannot  be  brought  into  agree- 
nent  with  the  Zarathushtrian  teaching  that  the 
ighteous  soul  at  death  passed  away  from  earth 
Itogether  into  the  heaven  of  Ahura  Mazdah.  He 
lenies  (p.  42)  the  Avestan  character  of  the  doctrine 
hat  the  Fravashi  (of  the  living  or  the  dead  or  the 
inborn)  dwells  with  Ahura ;  and  he  even  questions 
he  common  assumption  that  unbelievers  have  no 
ravashi,  derived  from  the  standing  title  "  fravashis  of 
he  pious"  (p.  66). *  The  fact  is  manifest  that  the 
yhole  conception  is  antecedent  to  any  ethical  system 
f  rewards  and  punishments  after  death.  Our  limits 
xclude  discussion  as  to  various  later  efforts  to 
econcile  these  ideas  with  the  religion  which  failed 
o  drive  out  the  hoary  superstition,  even  as 
Christianity  has  failed  in  a  large  part  of  the  Christian 

1  Note  Soderblom's  quotation  from  the  Saddar  Bundahish  (see 
ie  reference  in  Justi's  Handbuch,  p.  200),  showing  that  the  Fravashi 
an  unbeliever  goes  to  hell  with  his  soul  and  his  baoBah. 


world.  There  is  no  need  to  attempt  any  reconcilia 
tion  for  the  age  of  the  Yashts ;  for  we  have  seen 
already  that  the  religion  of  the  Yashts  is  frankly 
independent  of  Zarathushtra  and  far  older  than 
his  reform,  to  which  it  only  yields  an  occasional 

Some  quasi-physical  characteristics  of  the  Fravashis 
may  be  noted  at  this  point.  There  seems  a  reason 
able  probability  that  Fravashis  are  actually  pictured 
on  well-known  monuments  of  Iran.  A  Sassanian 
bas-relief  (Sod.,  68  n.9)  appears  to  have  the  name  of 
Ahura  Mazdah.  We  are  encouraged  to  think  that 
the  winged  figure  of  the  upper  part  of  a  man,  with 
a  flowing  robe,  before  which  Darius  is  represented 
standing  at  Persepolis,  is  meant  for  the  deity  of  his 
worship.  But  since  there  is  evidence,  especially  from 
Herodotus  (see  p.  391),  that  the  Persians  tolerated  no 
images  of  the  gods,  we  are  justified  in  recognising  the 
Fravashi  of  Ahura.  Wings  are  indeed  expressly 
suggested  by  the  Farvardin  Yasht  itself  (Yt  1370), 
and  agree  with  the  general  conception  of  these  genii 
as  aerial  and  swift.  Dr  Casartelli  (The  Religion  of 
the  Great  Kings,  p.  21)  prefers  to  regard  these 
figures  as  directly  representing  Ahura,  observing 
that  "  there  is  not  the  slightest  trace  [of  a  belief  in 
fravashis}  in  the  text  of  the  inscriptions."  It  seems 
to  me  that  silence  here  does  not  prove  much,  and 
I  would  rather  keep  in  mind  the  express  assertion  of 

We  turn  to  the  more  fundamental  matters  raised  by 
the  great  Yasht,  and  deal  first  with  the  important 
section  (vv. 49  fF.)  where  the  Fravashis  are  most  con 
spicuously  nothing  but  ancestor-spirits.  The  section 


has  a  few  snatches  of  verse,  but  its  material  is  so  obvi 
ously  primitive  that  we  need  not  trouble  to  ask  the 
date  of  its  composition.  During  the  whole  of  the 
ten  days — the  section  knows  nothing  of  the  distinction 
Albirimi  draws — the  Fravashis  go  to  and  fro  asking 
for  worship,  just  as  other  Yazatas  do  in  the  Yashts, 
and  promise  blessing  to  the  house  of  him  who  will 
thus  adore  them.  The  worshipper  must  have  "  meat 
and  garments  "  in  his  hand,  for  the  souls  returning  to 
their  old  haunts  need  to  be  fed  and  warmed,  just 
as  in  similar  feasts  of  the  dead  elsewhere  :  see  Frazer, 
Golden  Bough",  iii.  86-89. 

In  several  passages  of  the  Later  Avesta,  if  our 
texts  may  be  trusted,  there  is  an  express  identifica 
tion  of  the  souls  of  the  dead  with  the  fravashis. 
Thus  Ys  167  (prose)  ^anvaitis  axahe  vardzo  yazamaide 
yd/iu  iristanam  urvqno  xuyenti  (I.  myente]  yfl  asaunqm 
JravaSayo,  "  We  adore  the  sunny  abodes  of  Asha, 
wherein  the  souls  of  the  dead  rest,  which  are  the 
Fravashis  of  the  righteous."  So  Ys  267  and  7 123, 
which  repeat  the  words  that  identify  them.  It 
must  of  course  be  allowed  that  these  three  crucial 
words  might  be  claimed  as  a  patent  gloss  by  any 
one  concerned  to  do  so.  This  applies  also  to  the 
fragment  (Westergaard,  1039)  cited  by  Bartholomae 
(AirWT),  992)  among  other  passages  where  souls 
and  fravashis  are  named  together,  under  conditions 
which  suggest  a  very  close  association,  though  of 
course  not  proving  identity.  The  fragment  with  a 
little  manipulation  of  text  would  fall  into  verse  ; 
and  it  should  perhaps  be  noted  that  the  three  words 
under  discussion  make  a  self-contained  verse.  It 
runs  thus : 


Of  what  origin  are  the  souls  of  the  dead,  which  are  the 
Fravashis  of  the  righteous  ?  From  Spenta  Mainyu  is  their 

"The  spirit  returns  to  God  who  gave  it."  We  may 
compare  further  Yt  1374,  which,  however,  is  prose. 
Here  the  "  souls  "  (uruno)  of  animals  are  adored — 
tame,  wild,  of  water,  earth  and  air,  etc. ;  and,  at  the 
end,  "  the  Fravashis  we  adore."  The  souls  of 
animals  would  not  be  brought  in  unless  identified 
with  the  Fravashis  who  are  the  subject  of  the  Yasht. 
This,  however,  attaches  itself  to  another  aspect  of 
the  Fravashis,  the  frankly  animistic  element  which 
accounts  for  the  doctrine  that  all  sentient  beings — of 
the  good  creation  at  any  rate — have  their  Fravashi, 
including  even  Ahura  himself.  To  this  I  return 

The  doctrine  that  Fravashi  and  Soul  united  at 
death  will,  as  Prof.  Jackson  remarks  (Grundriss,  ii. 
643),  account  for  a  parallelism  of  treatment  which 
arose  from  the  prehistoric  ancestor-worship  widely 
current  in  the  proethnic  Indo-European  period.  On 
this  it  will  suffice  to  refer  to  the  great  article  on 
"  Aryan  Religion "  by  Prof.  Otto  Schrader,  in 
Hastings'  Encyclopaedia. 

Before  passing  from  these  features  of  primitive 
ancestor- worship,  we  may  note  that  in  the  mythology 
of  our  own  Germanic  peoples,  at  the  other  end  of  the 
Indo-European  area,  there  is  a  similar  association 
of  intercalary  days  at  the  end  of  the  year  with  an 

1  It  may  be  noted  that  in  Bund  I8  (SEE,  v.  5)  Auharmazd  creates 
all  immaterial  beings  prior  to  the  creation  of  matter.  This 
belongs  to  the  first  trimillennium  of  the  world-age,  on  which 
see  p.  403  f. 


annual  feast  of  the  dead.  The  Germanic  Kleinjahr  of 
twelve  days  was  added  to  the  twelve  lunar  months  of 
354  days,  instead  of  the  360  days  ;  and  the  Germanic 
year  ended  when  the  sun  began  to  turn  northwards 
after  the  solstice,  and  not  with  the  vernal  equinox. 
The  Roman  Parentalia  celebration,  from  Feb.  13 
to  Feb.  21,  stands  near  the  end  of  the  last  month 
in  the  old  Roman  year,  and  recalls  the  Farvardigan 
by  its  character  :  Dr  J.  B.  Carter  ( The  Religion  of 
Numa,  p.  16)  notes  that  it  "was  calm  and  dignified, 
and  represented  all  that  was  least  superstitious  and 
fearful  in  the  generally  terrifying  worship  of  the 
dead."  At  the  same  time  was  the  Greek  celebration 
of  the  Anthesteria.  Miss  Harrison  (Prolegomena,  54) 
remarks  on  the  reason  for  the  placating  of  ghosts 
when  the  activities  of  agriculture  were  about  to 
begin,  and  the  powers  of  the  world  underground 
were  needed  to  stimulate  fertility. 

A  conception  comparable  in  some  respects  to 
that  of  the  Fravashi,  which  is  significantly  absent 
from  the  Gathas,  is  the  daend  or  "self"— "die 
Gesammtheit  der  seelischen  und  religiose  Individu- 
alitat,"  as  Bartholomae  defines  it  (AirWb,  66(5), — of 
which  the  Gathas  are  full.  It  goes  with  the  man 
after  death  to  heaven  or  hell.  It  is  expressly  dis 
tinguished  from  the  urvan  (soul)  in  Ys  452,  where  the 
"  holier "  of  the  Twin  Spirits  says  to  the  "  enemy  " 
(angra)  : 

noit  nd  mana      noit  savgha  noit  -)(ratavd 
ndedd  varana      noit  u^Sd  naedd  syaoQand 
noit  daena  noit  urvqno  hacainte. 

"Neither   our  thoughts,  nor  our  doctrines,  nor  our 
wills,  nor  our  beliefs,  nor  our  words  or  deeds,  nor 


our  individualities,  nor  our  souls  can  agree."  Zara- 
thushtra  promises  that  his  own  daend  shall  stand  by 
that  of  his  follower  at  the  last  ( Ys  45n,  on  which  see 
ERPP,  106).  But  a  crucial  difference  between  the 
daend  and  the  fravashi  lies  in  the  fact  that  the  bad 
man  as  well  as  the  good  has  a  daend  :  see,  for  example, 
Ys  494.  The  conception  was  probably  suggested  to 
Zarathushtra  by  his  own  philosophic  analysis  of  man's 
personality  :  if  he  knew  of  the  fravashi,  apart  from 
its  connexion  with  ancestor-spirits,  he  presumably 
used  another  word  to  emphasise  the  fact  that  each 
man  had  his  own  individual  responsibility,  and  an 
immortal  ego  within  him  which  would  pass  on  to 
weal  or  woe.  The  fravashi  was  too  much  entangled 
with  mythology  to  suit  him,  and  he  had  no  use  for 
a  system  which  would  not  apply  to  all  men.  It 
is  indeed  not  impossible  that  the  name  and  the 
thing  were  hardly  current  in  his  part  of  Iran.  The 
strong  argument  for  the  alternative  view  is  that  we 
have  the  word  frav asi  once  in  the  Haptanghaiti:  Ys 
373,  asdunqm  fravasls  narqmca  ndirinqmca  yazamaide, 
"  we  adore  the  fravashis  of  the  followers  of  Asha, 
both  men  and  women."  On  the  whole  this  is  prob 
ably  decisive ;  and  we  should  regard  the  daend  as 
Zarathushtra's  deliberate  substitute  for  the  fravashi 
on  its  ancestor-spirit  side,  from  which,  of  course, 
comes  its  characteristic  limitation  to  the  righteous. 
It  is,  however,  the  other  element  in  the  conception 
which  comes  nearest  to  the  daend,  that  of  the 
"double"  or  representative  in  the  spirit  world.  If 
this  was  known  to  Zarathushtra,  we  might  suppose 
that  he  rejected  it  in  favour  of  a  deeper  and  more 
reasonable  psychology.  But,  after  all,  the  difference 


between  daend  and  fravashi  is  more  conspicuous  than 
their  rather  superficial  resemblance.  Zarathushtra's 
concept  has  nothing  suggesting  a  primitive  super 
stition  ;  and  a  thinker  of  his  calibre  did  not  need  the 
hint  which  such  a  superstition  might  be  supposed  to 
provide.  The  obvious  presence  of  two  distinct  and 
somewhat  discordant  elements  in  the  fravashis  of  the 
Later  Avesta  would  (apart  from  the  features  noted 
below)  most  naturally  be  interpreted  on  the  lines  of 
our  general  theory,  by  assuming  the  Magi  responsible 
for  everything  in  the  fravashi  that  does  not  arise 
from  ancestor-cultus.  And  since  we  have  no  other 
indication  that  the  Magi  were  known  to  Zarathushtra,1 
there  would  be  thus  a  strong  presumption  that  his 
daend  was  an  independent  idea.2  But  if  its  resem 
blance  is  thought  too  close  to  be  fortuitous,  we  must 
assume  that  the  complex  of  the  fravashi  was  built  up 
among  the  Iranians  of  Zarathushtra's  milieu  before 
his  time.  This  involves  our  making  the  most  of 
Indo-European  parallels  to  the  fravashi  on  this  side, 

1  Me  iudice,  of  course  :  see  p.  197  f.     First-rate  authorities  have 
pronounced  for  the  association  of  Zarathushtra  with  the  Magi — cf. 
Jackson,  Zoroaster,  6-8. 

2  The  question  whether  there  really  are  two  distinct  words  in 
the  Gathic  daend  is  not  yet  finally  cleared  up.     Bartholomae  makes 
two  distinct  entries,  but  appends  a  note  which  seems  to  betray  a 
wish  to  link  them.     Prof.  Jackson  tells  me  he  has  long  felt  doubt 
about  severing  them.      "  It  seems  to  me,"  he  writes,  "  the  idea  back 
of  the  whole  word  is  '  insight,'  and  so  'conscience'  and  '  religion.'  " 
That  means,    I   presume,   deriving  it  from   the  root  seen   in   Skt 
dhl,  dhyd,  "see,"  "think,"  Av.  2day,  "see,"  which  is  Geldner's  view 
(rejected  by  Bartholomae,  AirWb,  665).     The  coincidence  that  both 
vords  are  scanned  as   trisyllables,  and  go  back  accordingly  to  an 
Aryan  *dhayina,  strengthens  the  suspicion  that  an  ultimate   unity 

: 'light  to  be  found.     Soderblom  (p.  52)  would  make  "  personality  " 
I  he  earlier  meaning,  "religion  "  the  later. 


especially  the  Greek  ayaOo?  $at/m(*)v,  and  still  more  the 
Roman  genius.  In  my  paper  already  referred  to 
(p.  525  n.)  I  observed: 

It  is  remarkable  how  great  the  general  similarity  is 
between  the  Genius  and  the  Fravashi.  The  Genius,  with 
his  female  counterpart  the  luno,  is  the  special  patron  of 
birth,  a  function  which  markedly  belongs  to  the  fravashis. 
Both  seem  to  combine  the  ideas  of  an  inborn  part  of  the 
individual  and  a  power  which  watches  over  him.  And 
both  from  belonging  to  individuals  acquire  relations  to 
communities,  the  Genius  very  markedly.  See  Wissowa, 
Religion  und  Kultus  der  Homer  (in  Iwan  v.  Miiller's  Hand- 
buch  der  Jclassischen  Altertumwissenschaft,  v.  4),  pp.  154  ff. 

That  both  genius  and  iuno  were  closely  connected 
with  birth  is  a  point  to  which  I  must  return.  Genius 
carries  the  connexion  in  its  obvious  etymology ;  nor 
iuno  less  so,  when  explained  (after  Brugmann)  by 
comparison  with  Skt  yosa,  gen.  yosnds,  "young 
woman."  Restricting  ourselves  to  genius,  because  of 
the  rarity  of  its  female  counterpart,  we  recall  at  once 
the  familiar  description  in  Horace : 

scit  Genius,  natale  comes  qui  temperat  astrum, 
naturae  deus  humanae,  mortalis  in  unum 
quodque  caput,  voltu  mutabilis,  albus  an  ater. 

(Epp.9  ii.  ii.  187-9.) 

Orelli's  note  on  this  passage  may  be  consulted  foi 
an  excellent  collection  of  classical  illustrations.  Th( 
fullest  account  is  in  Censorinus  De  Die  Natali,  ii.  am 
in.,  where  among  other  features  is  emphasised  th< 
fact  that  the  Genius  is  "  deus  cuius  in  tutela  u 
quisque  natus  est  vivit."  This  represents  a  late 
stage  than  the  definition  of  Varro,  "  animus  rationalis, 
and  that  implied  in  Horace,  who  makes  the  Geniu 
a  man's  self  or  double  rather  than  his  guardian  ange 


Since,  as  we  shall  see,  there  is  a  similar  emergence  of 
the  idea  of  a  tutelary  spirit  in  later  stages  of  Avestan 
doctrine,  we  may  suppose  that  part  of  the  develop 
ment  proceeded  independently  on  parallel  lines.  But 
there  is  a  case  for  regarding  the  starting-points  as  his 
torically  connected. 

The  two  strains  which  can  be  with  fair  certainty 
detected  in  the  Avestan  fravashi  doctrine  may  be 
conjecturally  accounted  for  by  recognising  a  second 
original  element  entirely  distinct  from  the  ancestor- 
spirit.  On  this  I  may  repeat  what  I  wrote  in  1902 
(op.  cit.,  526) : 

The  idea  seems  to  me  essentially  identical  with  that  of 
the  External  Soul,  expounded  very  fully  by  Dr  J.  G. 
Frazer  in  The  Golden  BougW,  iii.  351-446.  It  is  shown 
there  that  primitive  peoples  in  various  parts  of  the  world 
imagine  the  soul  or  life  of  a  human  being  to  reside  some 
where  outside  him.  Sometimes  it  is  no  further  away  than 
his  hair,  but  in  a  great  many  cases  it  lives  in  some  distant 
object — animal,  plant,  or  inanimate  thing — which  must  be 
destroyed  before  the  man's  life  can  be  taken.  In  a  large 
class  of  folk-tales  embodying  this  belief,  the  life  of  a  giant 
or  a  witch  is  safely  stored  in  some  absolutely  inaccessible 
place,  and  the  hero's  triumph  lies  in  his  finding  and 
destroying  it,  generally  by  the  help  of  friendly  animals. 
It  is  unnecessary  to  say  that  the  Magian  fravashi  is  a 
conception  immeasurably  loftier  than  this  na'ive  savage 
notion — though,  if  we  are  inclined  to  despise  the  latter  too 
heartily,  it  is  well  to  remember  that  our  German  and  Keltic 
ancestors  must  have  held  it  in  all  good  faith  centuries  after 
the  Magi  had  risen  to  their  development  of  this  primitive 
germ.  It  seems  just  the  kind  of  idea  which  the  speculative 
East  would  naturally  evolve  out  of  such  a  primitive 

Upon  this  theory,  as  repeated  in  a  few  sentences  in 
the  account  of  Yt  13  in  my  ERPP,  p.  145,  Mr  N.  W. 


Thomas  made  the  following  criticism  in  the  Review 
of'  Theology  and  Philosophy  for  March  1912  : 

The  Fravashi  Dr  Moulton  identifies  with  the  External 
Soul ;  but  the  External  Soul,  though  it  may  not  be  the 
only  one  which  a  man  possesses,  is  at  any  rate  the  one  with 
which  his  life  is  wrapped  up,  otherwise  there  would  be  no 
object  in  taking  steps  to  hide  it.  A  much  nearer  parallel 
may  be  found  among  some  negro  peoples,  who  hold  that 
a  soul  (ehi)  lives  in  heaven  and  represents  the  man  there, 
while  at  the  same  time  a  second  ehi  dwells  on  earth.  When 
the  man  dies  the  two  ehi  exchange  their  functions  in  the 
next  incarnation  of  the  personality. 

I  am  greatly  obliged  to  Mr  Thomas  for  this 
parallel,  and  I  need  not  perhaps  discuss  the  question 
whether  it  may  after  all  represent  a  notion  essentially 
kindred  to  that  of  the  External  Soul.  In  any  case 
I  only  seek  the  remote  origin  of  the  Fravashi  in  the 
primitive  conception  to  which  I  have  referred.  It 
seems  to  me  still  possible  enough  that  the  idea  of  a 
man's  life  as  resident  in  some  external  object  might 
develop  into  that  of  the  fravashi ;  and  the  thought  of 
terminating  the  life  by  destroying  the  external  object 
might  drop  away,  or  even  give  an  impulse  to  the 
conception  of  a  guardian  spirit. 

More  important  for  my  purpose  than  this  discussion 
of  remote  origins  is  the  problem  of  the  meaning  of 
the  name.  The  usual  interpretation  is  that  fravasi 
comes  from  fra  +  2var  (AirWb,  1360  f.),  to  choose, 
especially  to  profess  a  religion.  That  would  make 
the  nomen  actionis  mean  "  confession "  or  "  belief/' 
Side  by  side  with  this  the  proper  name  Fravarti 
((frpaoprw)  in  Old  Persian  was  assumed  to  stand  as  a 
(dubiously  formed)  nomen  agentis,  "  Confessor."  The 
name  is  of  considerable  antiquity.  One  Fravartish 


appears  on  the  Behistan  Inscription  as  a  pretender 
who  raised  his  standard  in  Media,  and  was  ultimately 
captured  at  Raga.  More  than  a  century  earlier  we 
have  in  the  record  of  Herodotus  a  Phraortes,  son  and 
successor  of  Deioces,  founder  of  the  Median  kingdom. 
There  has  been  a  tendency  to  hail  this  name  as  an 
anticipation  of  our  Saxon  Edward's  title :  if  so,  we 
might  be  curious  as  to  the  creed  he — or  rather  his 
father — "  confessed."  But  no  one  seems  to  have 
noticed  that  the  father  of  Deioces  bore  the  same 
name  (Hdt.,  i.  96),  which  rather  spoils  the  implica 
tion.  It  is  useless  to  ask  what  form  of  religious  zeal 
prompted  the  giving  of  this  unknown  person's  name, 
well  back  in  the  eighth  century.  Bartholomae 
(AirWb,  991)  calls  it  a  probable  Kurzncme1  connected 
with  fravaxi  or  wlthfraorati,  which  latter  does  mean 
"profession  of  faith."  The  choice  of  the  former 
would  bring  the  proper  name  also  under  the  "  eig. 
Bed.?  "  which  sums  up  succinctly  his  interpretation  of 
fravasi  on  its  etymological  side.  I  cannot  feel  satis 
fied  with  any  account  of  the  name  Fravartish  that 
brings  it  into  connexion  with  fravasi,  the  difference 
between  the  two  formally  identical  words  lying,  I  am 
convinced,  deeper  than  the  divergence  of  gender.2 

1  Darmesteter,  Le  ZA,  ii.  504,  also  treats  Fravartis  as  a  Kurzname, 
for  drigu-fravarii,  "qui  nourrit  le  pauvre."     I  cite  this  only  as  an 
illustration,  for  Bartholomae  can  hardly  be  wrong  in  rejecting  it. 
It  seems  that  Darmesteter,  like  others,  started  to  explain  it  as  a 
royal  name,  overlooking  Phraortes'  inconvenient  grandfather. 

2  There  is  a  plausible  parallel  in  the  double  meaning  of  Gathic 
dacna  (see  above,  p.  265)  if  it  is  to  be  regarded  as  one  word.     But,  as 
we  saw,  the  development  of  meaning  there  must  be  very  different 
if  we  are  to  save  the  unity  of  the  word.     Prof.  Jackson  (Grundriss, 
ii.  643)  mentions  another  fra-var  "protect,"  due  to  Haug,  which  seems 
to  be  much  more  hopeful  than  the  usual  etymology.     It  involves 


In  my  ERPP  (p.  142)  I  tentatively  suggested  deriva 
tion  of  fravaM  from  the  root  *var,  to  impregnate. 
The  meaning  "  birth  -  promotion  "  attaches  itself  to 
one  of  the  primary  functions  that  the  Fravashis 
perform.  Some  quotations  may  be  given  to  illustrate 
this.  In  Ys  231  the  formula  of  adoration  of  the 
Fravashis  ends  with  yci  bardftrisva  puQrc  vlSarayan 
paiti'vdrote  apara'iriOdnto,  "  which  preserve  sons  con 
ceived  in  the  womb  that  they  die  not."  This  is 
presumably  quoted  from  Yt  1311,  where  Ahura  declares 
that  it  is  by  the  Fravashis'  splendo.ur  and  glory  that 
he  preserves  the  unborn  sons  from  death  :  four  verses 
later  he  says  that  by  them  "  women  conceive 
(vdranvainti,  from  4t> ar)  sons,  .  .  .  have  easy  delivery, 
.  .  .  become  pregnant."  This  last  is  a  verse  quotation. 
In  Yt  103  they  give  vigorous  offspring  to  those  who 
do  not  deceive  Mithra  (or  "  break  pledges ").  The 
phrase  of  Yt  1311  and  Ys  231  is  recurrent,  and  evidently 
describes  a  pre-eminent  characteristic.  Now  ancestor- 
spirits  in  a  very  early  stage  of  human  society  are 
believed  to  be  actually  responsible  for  the  pregnancy 
of  women  :  cf.  J.  G.  Frazer,  Totemism  and  Exogamy, 
i.  191,  ii.  508  ;  Adonis,  Attis,  Osirisz,  76  ff.  It  seems, 
therefore,  at  least  possible  that  their  name  may  have 
been  at  first  a  special  cult-title  of  the  ancestor-spirits 
as  the  powers  that  continue  the  race.  It  will  of 
course  be  an  old  name,  and  its  later  connotation  may 
well  have  been  coloured  by  popular  etymology,  or  by 
the  influence  of  a  distinct  word  (such  as  the  original 
of  the  proper  name  Fravartis}.  I  do  not  put  forward 

making  the  idea  of  a  "guardian  angel  "  primitive — which  is,  however, 
rather  doubtful.  King  Phraortes  might  then  find  a  greater  analogue 
in  our  English  history  six  centuries  after  the  Confessor  ! 


my  suggestion  with  any  wish  to  dogmatise :  I  only 
urge  tentatively  that  we  might  reasonably  expect  the 
etymology  to  reflect  what  seems  to  be  a  most 
conspicuous  function.1 

The  Sanskrit  translation  of  the  A  vesta  (by 
Neriosengh)  has  vrddkih,  "  growth,"  as  the  rendering 
of  fravasi.  Whether  this  depends  upon  the  certainly 
wrong  connexion  with  va\s  or  not,  the  equivalent 
reproduces  a  very  central  feature  of  the  Avestan 
conception.  There  is  a  constant  association  with 
Waters  and  Plants,  the  special  provinces  of  the  twin 
Amshaspands  Haurvatat  and  Ameretat.  In  Ys  444 
Zarathushtra  distinctly  assigns  the  maintenance  of 
Waters  and  Plants  to  Ahura  himself,  who  naturally 
works  through  his  Amshaspands  ;  and  in  this  arrange 
ment  we  may  perhaps  see  his  attempt  to  supersede 
the  Fravashis.  The  river-genius  Anahita,  who  is 
imported  (see  p.  238  f.)  from  non- Aryan  cultus,  inde- 

1  Before  leaving  the  problem,  I  might  refer  to  Sod.,  57,  where 
the  possibility  of  the  meaning  "protector"  is  noted,  and  described 
as  "  a  euphemism  to  designate  the  dangerous  and  powerful  dead  "  : 
the  suggestion  is  assigned  to  my  colleague  Prof.  Arwid  Johannson. 
There  is  also  a  reference  to  Justi's  explanation  that  Jra-vart  is  the 
source,  in  the  sense  "pre-existent."  (I  cannot  trace  Soderblom's 
attribution  of  this  to  Haug,  who  (Essays 4,  206)  interprets  "  pro 
tector.")  Soderblom  further  cites  Prof.  K.  F.  Johansson  of  Upsala 
for  an  explanation  depending  on  vart,  "turn  "  :  "  fravasi  serait  alors 
ce  qui  se  detourne,  ce  qui  s'eloigne,  ce  qui  part."  This  does  not 
seem  to  me  probable.  Prof.  Jackson  has  "  not  come  to  a  satis 
factory  solution  of  the  problem,"  but  he  tells  me  he  has  "  long 
since  practically  abandoned  the  idea  of  fravasi  being  connected 
with  the  radical  for  '  confession.' "  Following  up  a  hint  of  his 
to  look  at  pra-vart  in  Skt,  I  notice  the  idea  of  "originating," 
"  producing,'7  among  its  derivatives.  But  the  multitude  of  alterna 
tives  makes  me  more  dubious  as  to  the  possibility  of  arriving  at 
a  solution. 


pendently  undertakes  these  functions  of  promoting 
birth  and  growth.1 

"  The  more  I  have  studied  the  subject,"  writes 
Prof.  Jackson  to  me,  "  the  stronger  becomes  my  feel 
ing  that  the  idea  of  pre-existence  and  continuance  is  a 
fundamental  one  in  connexion  with  the  Fravashis.  .  .  . 
The  pre-existence  idea  would  make  clear  your  point 
about  the  part  played  by  the  Fravashis  at  birth.  It 
is  natural,  of  course,  that  they  should  have  such  a 
role,  as  the  fravasi  then  becomes  embodied  in  human 
form.  .  .  .  The  point  is  right,  whatever  view  one  may 
hold  about  the  etymology."  Without  venturing  to 
settle  the  vexed  question  whether  the  hen  or  the  egg 
has  priority,  we  may  logically  assume  that  to  establish 
the  pre-existence  of  the  Fravashis  is  very  important 
before  we  can  recognise  them  as  birth-spirits.  The 
doctrine  is  very  conspicuous  in  the  Pahlavi  books, 
as  in  the  Bundahish  (SBE,  v.  149),  where  a  world- 

1  It  is  curious  to  notice  that  among  the  very  few  divine  names 
in  Greece  forming  compounds  in  -Swpos  or  -Soros  stands  the  river- 
name  Ka<£io-os,  which  belongs  to  no  less  than  three  streams.  It 
seemed  to  me  possible  that  this  fact,  which  struck  me  in  reading 
again  the  "  Nicareta  "  Inscription  from  Orchomenus,  with  the  name 
Kac^to-dScopos,  might  attest  a  primitive  connexion  of  rivers  with  the 
promotion  of  birth.  On  this  Dr  J.  G.  Frazer  kindly  writes  to  me 
as  follows  (May  31,  1913):  "Your  explanation  of  Ka^to-dSwpos  is 
very  interesting  and,  I  think,  highly  probable,  but  I  cannot  supply 
you  with  any  parallel  names  formed  from  rivers.  But  in  The  Magic 
Art,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  l6l  sq.,  I  have  given  some  evidence  of  the  Greek 
belief  in  the  power  of  rivers  to  marry  women.  And  in  regard  to 
Cephisodorus  it  is  worth  noting  that  according  to  a  local  legend  a 
certain  Eteocles  was  a  son  of  the  river  Cephisus  (the  Boeotian),  and 
that  hence  he  was  called  by  the  poets  Cephisades  (Pausanias,  ix. 
349).  Another  case  of  a  person  fathered  on  a  river  was  the  mythical 
Platsea,,  who  was  said  to  be  a  daughter  of  the  river  Asopus,  though 
the  sceptical  Pausanias  refused  to  believe  it  (Paus.  ix.  H**-)." 


period  is  postulated  during  which  the  Fravashis  exist 
alone,  before  any  material  creation.1  As  noted  below, 
on  the  locus  classicus  in  Plutarch  (p.  403).  Theopompus 
seems  to  have  been  ignorant  of  this  first  trimillen- 
nium,  which  was  probably  not  older  than  Sassanian 
theology.  But  there  is  sufficient  Avestan  warrant 
for  the  doctrine  that  the  Fravashis  exist  before 
the  material  creations  with  which  they  are  linked. 
Thus  Visp  II7  speaks  of  "all  the  holy  (asavan] 
Fravashis,  belonging  to  holy  men  dead,  living,  un 
born,  men  that  reform  (the  world),  men  that  shall 
deliver  it  (saosyanto}"  Yt  1317  establishes  a  rule 
of  precedence : 

The  most  powerful  among  the  Fravashis  .  .  .  are  those 
of  the  men  of  the  primitive  law 2  or  those  of  the  unborn 
men  that  reform  the  world,  that  shall  deliver  it.  Of  the 
rest,  the  Fravashis  of  the  living  holy  are  more  powerful 
than  those  of  the  dead.3 

The  whole  stanza  is  in  verse,  and  its  evident  antiquity 
will  serve  to  prove  the  present  thesis  without  multi 
plying  citations.  Note  that  there  is  no  hint  of 
metempsychosis  here.  The  Fravashi  exists  before 

1  We  may  recall  also  the  statement  in  the  Bundahish  (ii.  10,  11) 
that  before  creating, man  Ahura  offered  the  Fravashis  the  choice 
between  remaining  in  the   spiritual   world   eternally   and    coming 
down  to  become  incarnate  and  join  in  the  battle  against  the  demons. 
They  chose  the  latter,  knowing  that  the  strife  would  end  in  the 
annihilation  of  evil. 

2  The  first  teachers  of  the  Religion. 

8  For  the  idea  of  the  Fravashi  of  a  living  man  one  is  tempted  to 
:juote  Tennyson  (In  Memoriam,  44)  : 

If  such  a  dreamy  touch  should  fall, 

O  turn  thee  round,  resolve  the  doubt ; 
My  guardian  angel  will  speak  out 
In  that  high  place,  and  tell  thee  all. 



the  soul  with  which  it  is  one  day  to  be  connected ; 
but  the  whole  theory  would  be  thrown  into  disorder 
if  it  were  successively  identified  with  various  human 
personalities.  Precedence  among  Fravashis  is  strictly 
in  accord  with  that  of  their  earthly  counterparts. 
Thus,  in  a  prose  passage : 

We  adore  the  Fravashis  of  house,  of  family,  of  clan,  of 
district,  of  Zarathushtrotema.1     (Yt  1321.) 

This  is  the  familiar  series — nmdna,  vis,  zantu,  dahyu 
— which  survives  as  late  as  the  Manicha?an  MSS  from 
Turfan,  in  the  same  order.2  According  to  Bartholomae 
these  adjectives,  nmdnya,  etc.,  denote  "  zur  Gottheit 
Nmanya  (etc.)  gehorig."  We  naturally  compare  the 
disputed  phrase  viOibix  bagaibi^  in  Darius's  Persepolis 
inscription,3  which  Bartholomae  (Zum  AirWb,  227), 
Tolman,  and  others  now  render  "  with  the  gods  of 
the  royal  house,"  the  Oeol  ftaa-iXr/ioi  of  Herodotus. 
This  provides  for  the  conception  of  a  Fravashi 
attached  to  a  community,  analogous  to  the  "princes" 
of  nations  in  Daniel  and  the  "  angels  of  the  churches  " 
in  the  Apocalypse.4  Another  good  passage  is  Ys 
231,  where  Fravashis  are  adored 

which  were  in  the  beginning,  those  of  houses,  of  families, 
of  clans,  of  districts. 

These  passages  are  of  special  importance  when  we 
examine  the  possibility  that  the  "  angels  "  or  "princes" 
of  communities  in  Jewish  or  Christian  writings  may 
originate  in  Parsi  influence.  In  this  I  incline  to  the 
affirmative  answer,  not  considering  Clemen's  reply  to 

1  See  p.  118. 

2  Miiller,  pp.  18  and  24.  3  Dar.  Pers.  d3  (Tolman,  p.  36) 
4  See  my  paper  in  Jouru.  of'  Theol.  Stud.,  1902,  pp.  514-6. 


Stave  sufficient.1  But  to  discuss  this  would  anticipate 
what  belongs  to  the  next  Lecture.  My  present 
demonstration  that  the  Fravashis  have  functions 
that  take  them  very  far  beyond  the  limitations  of 
ancestor-spirits  may  be  finally  clinched  by  yet  another 
fact  about  them.  The  yazata  had  his  fravashi  just 
as  much  as  the  asavan  on  earth.  Even  that  of  Ahura 
Mazdah  is  often  adored  (see,  for  instance,  Yt  1380). 
This  is  another  parallel  to  the  use  of  the  Latin  genius, 
which  the  gods  possessed  as  well  as  men. 

The  suggestion  that  a  conception  akin  to  that  of 
the  External  Soul  may  account  for  one  strain  in  the 
Fravashi  prompts  a  brief  digression  to  show  that  a 
more  or  less  allied  Avestan  notion,  that  of  the 
Xvarjnah  or  "  glory,"  has  features  of  the  same  kind. 
The  passages  of  the  Dinkart  described  in  Jackson's 
'Zoroaster,  p.  24  f.,  tell  of  the  Glory  descending  from 
the  eternal  light  to  enter  the  house  where  the  mother 
of  Zarathushtra  is  to  be  born,  uniting  with  her  until 
at  the  age  of  fifteen  she  brings  forth  her  son.  Mean 
while  the  archangels  Vohumanah  and  Asha  have 
conveyed  the  Fravashi  to  earth,  in  a  stem  of  the 
Haoina  plant,  which  in  Ys  913  is  specially  connected 
with  the  Prophet's  birth :  the  myth  distantly  re 
sembles  Prometheus'  bringing  the  Fire  in  the  fennel 
stalk.  The  relation  of  plants  to  fravashis  here 
appears  again.  The  Glory  is  the  subject  of  Yt  19, 
one  of  the  most  important;  and  the  Q.P.  farnah, 
found  in  well-known  names  of  the  Achasmenian  age, 
s  evidence  of  its  prominence  in  Iranian  thought. 

1  See  his  Primitive  Christianity,  p.  94  (E.T.),  and  my  paper  just 
ited  :  the  latter  seems  to  be  among  the  few  English  contributions 
o  the  subject  which  have  escaped  Prof.  Clemen's  eye. 


It  was  a  mythical  talisman  which  belonged  essentially 
to  the  royal  house  of  Iran,  though  it  vanished  with 
Yima's  sin,  flying  away  in  its  three  successive 
manifestations  in  the  form  of  a  bird :  we  are  re 
minded  that  the  Fravashis  also  are  winged.  Its 
location  in  the  sea  Vouru-kasha  resembles  stories  told 
of  an  external  soul  in  other  Indo-European  countries. 
We  cannot  bring  evidence  that  the  loss  of  the  Glory 
produced  death,  for  Yima  survived  to  be  ultimately 
sawn  in  twain  by  Spityura  (Yt  1946).  But  the 
persistent  efforts  of  Frangrasyan  (Afrasiab),  the  foe 
of  the  Iranian  monarchy,  to  seize  it  in  the  depths 
of  Vouru-kasha  read  very  much  like  the  folk-stories 
that  tell  of  the  hunt  for  the  soul.  In  Yt  542  and 
1956  ff.  the  prayer  of  Frangrasyan,  "  the  Turanian 
ruffian,"  to  Anahita,  who  as  the  queen  of  the  waters 
might  help  him,  and  his  thrice-repeated  dive  into  the 
mystic  sea  after  the  Glory  that  "  glides  "  or  "  waves  " 
in  its  midst,  only  lead  to  the  refusal  of  the  boon  and 
the  failure  of  the  Turanian  to  capture  it :  the  Glory 
can  be  seized  by  no  sinner.  This  in  its  way  is  some 
thing  like  the  generally  asserted  impossibility  of  a 
sinner's  possessing  a  Fravashi.  In  both  Yashts,  in  a 
phrase  that  must  be  old,  it  is  described  as  "  belonging 
to  the  Aryan  people,  born  and  unborn,  and  to  th( 
holy  Zarathushtra  " ;  and  its  possession  would  hav( 
enabled  the  Turanian  champion  to  "  rule  over  all  th( 
Karshvars."  Turning  to  the  Old  Persian,  we  med 
with  the  name  Vindafarnah  CIvra<pepvt]s),  describing 
"  one  who  finds  the  Glory,"  in  antithesis  to  th< 
Turanian  alien  from  whom  it  flies.  Two  persons  ar< 
thus  named :  one  a  member  of  Darius's  Six  who  con 
spired  with  him  against  Gaumata,  the  other  a  Mede  (? 


who  led  an  army  against  a  Babylonian  rebel.  (It 
should  be  noted  that  Tolman's  text  of  Bh  316 
reads  Pd[rsa]  instead  of  Mada,  which  stands  in 
Weissbach-Bang.  This  would  enable  us  to  regard 
the  two  servants  of  Darius  as  one.)  There  are  other 
occurrences  of  names  in  -farnah  found  in  Media. 
Justi  (Grundriss  d.  ir.  Ph.,  ii.  408)  mentions  two 
chieftains  Sitirparnu  and  Iparnu  (  =  CiOrafarnak  or 
Tura-aQepvw  and  Vifarnah)  who  were  taken  captive  by 
Esarhaddon,  more  than  a  century  before  Cyrus.  It 
may  be  assumed  that  the  name  was  current  only  in 
the  ruling  classes  of  the  'ApfyvTol,  the  "  Aryans  "  in 
the  narrower  sense,  to  whom  the  Behistan  Inscription 
tells  us  (see  p.  60)  the  god  Auramazda  belonged. 

Without  pursuing  the  parallel  of  Fravashi  and 
"  Glory "  too  far,  I  think  it  may  be  claimed  that 
distinct  and  independent  development  of  the  primi 
tive  notion  of  an  External  Soul  may  account  for 
each  of  them ;  and  in  any  case  the  comparison  of 
the  two  as  necessary  elements  in  the  higher  life 
will  help  us  to  understand  their  nature.  Both  are 
closely  connected  with  the  divine  Waters — compare 
Yt  137-10  with  1965-69— and  the  Glory  is  kept  safe  in 
the  midst  of  a  mythological  lake.1  We  might 
ilmost  say  that  the  Glory  and  the  Fravashi  are 
bound  together  in  the  same  way  as  Water  and 
Plants.  The  Glory  is  more  closely  associated  with 
:he  Waters,  and  the  Fravashi  with  the  Plants.  In 
lie  same  section  of  Dr  Frazer's  work,  referred 

0  in  n.1   below,   we  find    many   stories    where   the 

1  Compare  the  folk-stories  in  The  Golden  Bough11,  iii.  357,  364,  365, 
67,  368,  369  (two),  372,  374,  375,  379,  381,  382  (two),  386  (two), 

1  all  of  which  the  external  soul  is  protected  by  surrounding  water. 


external  soul  is  resident  in  a  plant ;  and  the  eating 
of  such  a  plant  would  supply  a  very  easy  explanation 
of  pregnancy  for  the  simple  prehistoric  folk  among 
whom  my  hypothesis  assumes  the  idea  to  have 
originated.  But  all  this  is  of  course  very  specu 
lative,  and  we  may  leave  it  here. 

There  remain  to  be  noted  two  more  functions  of 
the  Fravashis,  one  clearly  visible  in  the  Avesta, 
the  other  very  doubtfully  present  there.  They 
are  in  the  later  Parsi  theology  representative  spirits 
beyond  everything  else,  sharing  the  fortunes  of  their 
earthly  counterparts.  This  corresponds  closely  with 
the  familiar  Avestan  picture  of  the  Daena  of  the 
good  or  the  bad  man,  which  becomes  fairer  or  uglier 
with  every  characteristic  thought,  word,  or  deed. 
But  in  the  Avesta  there  are  not  wanting  proofs 
that  they  were  to  some  extent  real  guardian  angels 
also.  They  are  essential  for  promoting  birth ;  they 
nourish  animals  and  men,  waters  and  plants ;  they 
guard  sun  and  moon  and  stars ;  they  are  constantly 
present  in  battle  as  givers  of  victory ;  they  watch 
over  the  Lake,  the  stars  of  the  Great  Bear,  the 
body  of  the  sleeping  Keresaspa,  and  the  seed  of 
Zarathushtra,  in  preparation  for  the  final  Renewal. 
In  time  of  drought  they  vie  with  each  other  to 
procure  water  from  Vouru-kasha,  each  for  his  own 
house,  clan,  or  district  (Yt  1364  ff.).  These  attributes 
come  from  the  Farvardin  Yasht  itself.  The  Fra 
vashis  of  five  unknown  saints  are  invoked  (Yt  13104 
to  withstand  ill  dreams  and  visions,  unnatural  vice 
and  the  Pairikas.  The  Fravashi  of  the  holy  Man 
thravaka,  in  the  next  stanza,  will  smite  heresy,  a< 
the  good  priest  had  no  doubt  done  in  his  lifetime 


Another  ( Yt  13120)  will  restrain  persecution  from 
kindred — an  allusion  clearly  to  unrecorded  events 
in  the  saint's  family  life.  Their  general  character 
as  beneficent  spirits,  objects  of  prayer  in  exactly 
the  same  way  as  the  saints  in  syncretistic  forms  of 
Christianity,  is  well  seen  in  a  fragment  thus  given 
by  Darmesteter  in  SHE,  xxiii.  322 : 

"  O  Maker !  how  do  the  souls  of  the  dead,  the  Fravashis 
of  the  holy  Ones,  manifest  themselves  ?  " 

Ahura  Mazda  answered :  "  They  manifest  themselves 
from  goodness  of  spirit  and  excellence  of  mind/1 

(That  is,  these  qualities  in  men  bring  the  Fravashis 
to  help  them.)  It  has  become  sufficiently  clear  that 
if  fear  was  in  prehistoric  times  the  great  motive  of 
the  cult  of  the  dead,  it  had  long  yielded  to  affection 
and  a  sense  of  dependence  when  the  Fravashi  doc 
trine  as  we  have  it  was  framed.  It  is  significant 
that  the  first  month  of  the  Parsi  year  is  called  by 
this  sacred  name,  and  the  last  ten  days  of  that  year 
were  dedicated  to  the  special  honour  of  spirits  whom 
no  reformation  of  religion  could  banish  from  their 
place  nearest  the  people's  heart. 

Lastly,  we  must  inquire  how  far  it  is  true  that 
the  Fravashis  were  specially  connected  with  the 
stars.  We  have  seen  already  (p.  237)  that  astral 
theology  has  a  very  small  part  in  genuine  Parsism ; 
and  we  are  prepared  to  expect  that  in  a  field  where 
Magianism  is  very  little  to  be  seen  the  traces  of 
this  star-lore  will  be  few.  This  soon  shows  itself 
in  fact.  I  proceed  to  collect  what  can  be  inferred 
from  the  Avesta  in  this  connexion.  We  may 
quote  some  passages  from  Yt  13,  our  most  im 
portant  source. 


First  comes  a  verse  passage,  presumably  old,  which 
I  give  as  in  ERPP,  146  : 

By  their  brightness  and  their  glory, 
Zarathushtra,  1  stay  from  ruin 
Yonder  heaven,  sublime  and  shining, 
That  the  whole  earth  doth  encompass ; 
Like  a  palace  spirit-fashioned, 
Stablished,  far  withdrawn  its  limit, 
With  the  form  of  glowing  metal, 
Lightens  it  the  world's  three  regions.1 
With  that  heaven,  as  with  a  garment 
Star-embroidered,  spirit- woven, 
Mazdah  clothes  him,  and  his  angels 
Mithra,  Rashnu,  Aramaiti ; 
Nor  on  any  side  beginning 
Nor  an  end  thereof  appeareth.     (Yt  IS2  f.) 

This  is  on  similar  lines  with  a  later  passage,  which 
is  more  explicit :  the  rough  verse-rendering  attempts 
to  show  where  the  metre  fails  in  our  text : 

Who  the  paths  of  Right  appointed 
For  the  stars,  the  moon,  the  sun,  .  .  . 
And  the  bright  eternal  heaven, 
That  had  erst  in  one  place  standing  [long  time] 
Never  moved,  for  hate  of  Daevas. 
For  the  onsets  of  the  Daevas. 
Now  they  move  for  ever  onward 
to  come  to  the  turning-point  of  their  path, 
To  the  blessed  Restoration.     (Yt  1357  f.) 

In  both  these  passages  the  Fravashis  are  only  power 
ful  genii  who  can  work  for  Ahura  in  any  sphere. 
"  It  must  be  allowed  that  though  they  thus  '  preserve 
the  stars  from  wrong,'  this  falls  short  of  identifica 
tion  with  stars"  (ERPP,  144). 

In  two  other  passages  they  are  connected  with 
specific  stars,  two  of  the  four  Regents  that  meet 
us  in  the  Tishtrya  Yasht : 

1  Contrast  the  commoner  (Gathic)  sevenfold  division. 


They  between  the  earth  and  heaven 
Speed  the  lord  of  falling  waters, 
Satavaesa,1  at  man's  entreaty.     (Yt  1343.) 

Similarly  they  watch  (v.60)  the  stars  HaptO'iringa, 
the  seven  stars  of  the  Great  Bear,  which  are  guardians 
of  the  North  and  therefore  need  special  help,  for  it 
is  the  quarter  of  the  demons.  There  are  99,999  of 
them — a  standing  figure  for  infinity.  This  stanza 
is  naturally  prose.  On  this  evidence,  manifestly, 
the  Fravashis  are  no  more  connected  with  stars  in 
their  Yasht  than  with  Waters  and  Plants  and  other 
provinces  in  which  they  achieve  the  same  victories. 
It  is  noteworthy  also  that  they  are  never  even 
brought  in  to  help  Tishtrya  (Sirius)  in  his  great  fight 
with  the  demon  Apaosha  in  Yt  8.  We  have  to 
go  outside  the  A  vesta  for  the  connexion  between 
stars  and  Fravashi.  In  Dind-i  Mam6g4  Khirad 
(or  Minokhired),  4922  (SEE,  xxiv.  92)  we  read: 

The  remaining  unnumbered  and  innumerable  constella 
tions  (y.l.  stars)  which  are  apparent  are  said  to  be  the 
guardian  spirits  of  the  worldly  existences. 

An  isolated  and  hesitating  statement  like  this  in  a 
late  Pahlavi  book  clearly  cannot  take  us  far.  But 
since  we  know  the  Magi  to  have  been  great  astro 
logers,  the  statement  fits  in  accurately  enough  with 
what  we  know  of  their  system,  apart  from  the  other 
strata  in  the  Avesta,  and  may  perhaps  be  provision 
ally  accepted  in  this  way.2 

1  Probably  Fomalhaut,  Regent  of  the  South. 

2  There  are  some  good  remarks  on  the  growth  of  astrolatry  in 
Western  Iran  in  Wilhelm's  important  paper,  "  Priester  und  Ketzer 
imalten  Eran,"  (ZDMG,  xliv.  142  ff.,  1890).     He  remarks  on  the 
prominence  of  star-worship  among  the  Zervanites,  and  thinks  the 


In  connexion  with  this  subject  I  should  make  some 
reference  to  the  story  of  the  Magi  and  the  "  King  of 
the  Jews."  What  has  been  already  said  will  help  us 
to  show  that  the  Magi  in  the  second  chapter  of 
Matthew  act  throughout  in  a  manner  perfectly  con 
sistent  with  what  we  have  ascertained  about  them, 
or  inferred  concerning  them,  on  evidence  lying  very 
far  away  from  this  familiar  narrative.  It  would  be 
too  serious  a  digression  from  the  subject  of  these 
Lectures  if  I  were  to  stop  and  examine  the  historical 
character  of  the  story.  I  must  restrict  myself  severely 
to  a  few  notes  on  its  relation  to  Magianism,  which 
I  cannot  discuss  without  some  allusion  to  the  one 
event  that  ordinary  Western  readers  connect  with 
the  Magian  name.1 

That  the  story  does  connect  itself  with  the  Magi 
in  the  strict  sense  of  the  word  will  probably  be  con 
ceded  at  once  by  readers  who  have  followed  my 
argument  in  the  last  two  Lectures  and  are  prepared  to 
connect  with  it  the  obvious  prominence  of  star-lore 
and  dreams  in  the  Gospel  narrative.  Our  evidence  has 
forced  us  to  minimise  the  genuinely  Zarathushtrian 
elements  in  Persian  religion  as  known  in  the  West 

development  may  have  begun  in  the  Achsemenian  age,  though 
only  certain  in  the  Sassanian.  This  has  no  more  than  an  indirect 
bearing  on  the  question  whether  the  Magi  found  the  Fravashis  in 
the  stars. 

1  There  is  a  convenient  summary  of  "  religious-historical  "  specu 
lation  on  the  subject  in  Clemen's  Primitive  Christianity,  p.  298  f. 
(E.T.).  The  readiness  with  which  Boklen,  Cheyne  and  others 
have  set  down  Parsi  sources  many  centuries  later  as  material 
for  the  explanation  of  the  story  seems  very  uncritical.  Cumont's 
advance  answer  (Textes,  i.  42,  cited  by  Clemen)  is  authoritative, 
though  most  of  us  would  have  arrived  at  something  like  it  by  the 
light  of  nature. 


of  Asia  and  Europe  before  the  Sassanian  epoch. 
Our  Magi  will  accordingly  have  affinities  with  the 
traditional  wisdom  of  their  ancient  sacred  tribe, 
rather  than  with  the  orthodox  Parsism  with  which 
they  had  linked  themselves  as  priests.  Their  astro 
logy  and  their  oneiromancy  alike  are  therefore  features 
which  we  have  every  reason  to  expect  in  them.  This 
includes  their  readiness  to  link  the  Fravashis  with  the 
stars.  What  sort  of  a  star  was  it  which  they  tell  us 
started  them  on  their  journey  ?  Not  a  planet,  clearly, 
nor  a  conjunction  of  planets,  as  Kepler  first  suggested  ; 
for,  as  we  have  seen,  the  planets  were  malign  for  the 
Magi.1  It  seems  most  natural  to  think  of  a  Nova, 
one  of  those  sudden  apparitions  that  tell  us  of  a 

1  On  this  point  see  above,  p.  211  f.  My  purpose  excludes  the 
discussion  of  the  many  rival  theories,  but  I  might  simply  mention 
one  of  the  latest,  which  will  at  least  indicate  that  the  student  has 
plenty  of  choice.  H.  Voigt  (Die  Geschichte  Jesu  und  die  Astrolo"ie, 
1911)  makes  the  uo-r^p  a  conjunction  of  Jupiter  and  Saturn  in  the 
Ram,  which  happens  only  four  times  in  a  millennium.  A  papyrus 
is  said  to  show  that  it  happened  in  6  B.C.,  recurring  about  five 
months  later.  In  Gnostic  texts  we  find  that  Jupiter  was  repre 
sentative  of  Judaea.  The  Magi,  then,  observed  the  conjunction 
first  in  the  spring  of  6  B.C.,  and  watched  it  again,  culminating 
in  the  South  as  they  entered  Bethlehem.  The  theory  is  thus 
suggested  by  Kepler's,  with  some  new  points :  it  refers  to  the 
conjunction  of  the  planets  in  the  year  following  that  of  which 
he  thought.  I  am  glad  to  note  that  my  preference  for  a  Nova 
agrees  with  that  of  Mr  Maunder  (Astronomy  of  the  Bible,  p.  399). 
But  Mr  Maunder,  with  the  expert's  caution,  will  not  commit 
himself  there  to  very  definite  conclusions,  declaring  the  data 
insufficient.  One  other  contribution  should  be  referred  to,  since 
it  comes  from  a  first-rate  Avestan  scholar.  In  the  Dublin  Review 
for  October  1902  Dr  Casartelli  gave  what  he  called  a  "footnote  to 
Matthew  ii.  1."  Among  many  very  interesting  suggestions  I  note 
especially  the  comparison  of  the  acrrr^p  to  the  ^aranah,  in  accordance 
with  Chrysostom's  idea  of  a  luminous  phenomenon  descending  upon 


stupendous  outburst  in  the  depths  of  space,  bringing 
to  our  eyes  a  new  star  that  in  a  few  weeks  or  months 
fades  away  from  sight.  We  remember  the  Nova  in 
Perseus  which  in  February  1901  added  a  brief  unit 
to  the  small  company  of  our  first-magnitude  stars. 
But  the  Star  of  the  Magi  need  not  have  been  as  bright 
as  this.  Professional  astrologers  would  notice  a  new 
star  which  had  no  chance  of  observation  by  amateurs  ; 
and  whether  it  was  a  Nova  or  not,  the  place  of  the 
star  would  probably  count  for  more  with  them  than 
its  brilliance.  My  preference  for  the  postulate  of  a 
Nova  comes  from  the  naturalness  of  their  quest  for 
an  identification  of  the  Fravashi  they  would  associate 
with  it.  They  had  no  doubt  met  with  numerous 
Jews  in  their  own  country,  and  had  knowledge  of 
their  Messianic  hopes,  which  may  even  have  struck 
them  with  their  resemblance  to  their  own  expectation 
of  Saoshyant.  A  dream  which  would  supply  the 
sought-for  identification  is  all  that  is  needed  to 
satisfy  the  demands  of  the  narrative.  Their  five 
miles'  walk  due  south  from  Jerusalem  gave  time  for 
the  star,  if  seen  low  down  in  the  sky  in  S.S.E.  when 
they  started,  to  be  culminating  just  over  Bethlehem 
when  they  drew  near  to  the  town ;  and  men  so 
deeply  convinced  of  the  significance  of  stellar  motions 
would  of  course  welcome  this  as  fresh  evidence  that 
the  end  of  their  quest  was  gained. 

Here  I  leave  the  story  to  the  sceptics  who  count 

earth.  If  I  venture  an  opinion,  I  should  confess  that  Chrysostom's 
interpretation  is  my  difficulty  in  using  Dr  Casartelli's  tempting  hint. 
Perhaps  I  ought  in  candour  to  add  that  my  own  explanation  above 
has  a  weak  spot  in  our  ignorance  of  the  view  the  Magi  would  take 
of  a  Nova :  it  is  conceivable  that  it  might  have  struck  them  as 
abnormal  and  therefore  Ahrimanian — we  have  no  evidence. 


it  beautiful  legend  and  the  believers  who  hold  it 
"  Gospel  truth."  My  own  vote  between  these  alter 
native  positions  would  depend  on  a  series  of  con 
siderations,  critical  and  theological,  which  have 
nothing  to  do  with  Zoroastrianism.  All  1  am  con 
cerned  to  prove  here  is  that  the  narrative  might 
have  been  composed  by  a  Magus  for  the  accuracy 
with  which  it  portrays  Magian  ideas.1  It  might  be 
Magian  fiction,  of  course,  like  the  original  of  Tobit 
discussed  in  Lecture  VII.  But  since  the  author  was 
confessedly  a  Jew,  the  correct  colour  of  his  "  fiction  " 
is  at  least  interesting.2 

1  From  Dr  Casartelli's  paper  I  should  add  his  remarks  on  the 
appropriateness    of    "frankincense    and    myrrh."       "The    use    of 
fragrant  woods  and  vegetable  perfumes  has  always  been  a  character 
istic  of  the  Zoi'oastrian  religious  cult "  :  he  refers  to  Vd  82  and  ig, 
where  vohu.gaona  "  is  apparently  frankincense." 

2  I  have  not  repeated  in  this  chapter  all  the  points  about  the 
Fravashis  which  are  mentioned  in  other  Lectures :  the  Index  s.v. 
will  enable  the  reader  to  collect  them.     The  most  important  is  the 
reference  of  King  Antiochus  to  his  Fravashi  as  an  avatar  (e 

see  p.  108. 



From  the  rising  of  the  sun  even  unto  the  going 
down  of  the  same  my  name  is  great  among  the 
Gentiles ;  and  in  every  place  incense  is  offered  unto 
my  name,  and  a  pure  offering ;  for  my  name  is  great 
among  the  Gentiles,  saith  Yahweh  of  Hosts.1 

Malachi  i.  1 1. 

THE  main  purpose  of  this  concluding  Lecture  is  not 
that  which  will  appear  at  first  sight  from  its  title. 
An  active  discussion  has  been  going  on  for  a  genera 
tion  as  to  the  reality  and  extent  of  influences  passing 
from  one  to  the  other  of  the  two  greatest  religions 
of  Western  Asia.  I  naturally  cannot  decline  all 
reference  to  this  controversy,  and  hope  to  have 
something  to  say  about  it  before  I  have  done.  But 
before  suggesting  any  answer  to  the  question  whether 
Zarathushtra  influenced  Israel,  or  Israel  Zarathushtra, 
I  want  to  take  a  summary  view  of  Parsism  in  the 
light  of  another  religion,  using  the  comparative 
method  as  a  help  to  bring  out  the  essential  character 
of  the  religion  which  I  am  trying  to  interpret.  The 
moral  of  the  comparison  may  be  reserved  for  the 

1  See  E.  Meyer,  Gesch.  d.  Alt.,  iii.  171,  on  the  implication  from 
the  Jewish  prophet's  words  that  the  everywhere  worshipped  God 
of  heaven  and  Ruler  of  the  world  was  in  his  mind  identified  with 



present :  points  of  similarity  and  of  difference  between 
the  two  religions,  in  spheres  of  thought  which  concern 
the  deepest  essentials,  will  sufficiently  occupy  our 
attention ;  and  in  most  of  these  points  independence 
is  so  obvious  that  we  shall  not  be  troubled  with 
suspicions  of  borrowing.  Coincidences  will  be  the 
independent  agreement  of  deep  thinkers  upon  the 
same  great  problems,  and  their  independence  will 
enhance  their  suggestiveness.  Our  line  will  resemble 
that  of  Professor  Harnack  in  a  striking  paper  in  the 
Hibbert  Journal  for  October  1911,  in  which  he 
sketched  the  religion  of  Porphyry,  showing  in  how 
many  points  it  unconsciously  resembled  the  faith 
which  the  philosopher  in  his  controversial  work  so 
bitterly  attacked.  And  at  the  other  end  of  the  scale 
of  human  thought  we  shall  find  an  apt  parallel  in  the 
coincidences  which  perpetually  meet  us  as  we  study 
primitive  religions  in  The  Golden  Bough.  The 
human  mind  has  an  ultimate  identity  of  constitution 
on  many  sides  wherever  we  find  it ;  and  when  its 
powers  are  brought  to  bear  upon  identical  material 
the  results  tend  to  approximate. 

I  must  not  further  anticipate  the  promised  moral, 
but  proceed  to  sum  up  afresh  some  of  the  leading 
characteristics  of  Early  Zoroastrianism  in  terms  of 
a  comparison  with  ideas  found  in  the  religion  of 
Israel.  By  the  religion  of  Israel  I  mean  of  course 
the  religion  in  its  full  and  complete  development, 
including  the  crown  of  the  whole  system  in  the 
teaching  of  Jesus,  and  the  apostolic  interpretation  of 
it.  Indeed,  as  a  main  part  of  my  subject  is  concerned 
with  the  phenomena  of  religious  syncretism,  it  is 
reasonable  to  expect  helpful  illustration  even  from 


the  syncretisms  of  later  Christianity,  which  cast  its 
net  into  many  waters  and  gathered  of  many  kinds, 
both  bad  and  good. 

I  cannot  state  my  text  better  than  by  quoting 
a  page  from  Prof.  Bousset's  well-known  work  on 
Judaism  in  New  Testament  times.1  The  author  is 
a  leader  among  those  who  believe  in  a  definite  and 
powerful  influence  exerted  upon  Judaism  and  early 
Christianity  by  Parsi  thought.  I  shall  have  to  argue 
against  this  view,  except  to  a  very  limited  extent, 
but  the  passage  will  serve  none  the  worse  as  a  state 
ment  of  the  common  features  of  the  religions, 
however  explained : 

In  the  Persian  religion  the  later  Judaism  came  in  contact 
with  a  powerful  and  influential  faith,  predominant  in  one 
part  of  the  world  and  strongly  impressing  even  the  Greeks, 
which  at  least  in  its  purer  form  was  almost  of  equal  rank 
with  itself.  In  no  other  religion  outside  Judaism  was  there 
so  pronounced  and  triumphant  a  movement  of  belief 
towards  monotheism — if  we  make  allowance  for  the  strong 
tendency  to  dualism.  Ahura  Mazdah  is,  among  all  the 
deities  of  the  world  that  surrounded  Judaism,  distinctively 
of  a  type  which  can  most  easily  be  compared  with  that  of 
Yahweh.  We  have  here  also  a  strong  spiritualising, 
transcendental  bent,  a  deep-seated  union  of  religion  with 
earnest  ethical  thought.  And  in  details  how  many 
resemblances  and  agreements  are  found !  Here,  as  there, 
the  thought  of  the  hereafter  and  the  j  udgement  is  central, 
and  the  doctrine  of  individual  rewards  and  punishments  is 
complementary  to  apocalyptic,  the  elaborated  doctrine  of 
the  future  of  the  world.  In  both  religions  there  is  a 
tendency  towards  dualism  :  the  Kingdom  of  God,  of  Ahura 
Mazdah,  stands  in  contrast  with  that  of  the  devil,  of  Angra 
Mainyu.  In  both  we  find  remarkable  coincidences  in 

1  Die  Religion  des  Judenlums  in  neutestamentlichen  Zeitalter,  ed.: 
(1906),  p.  549. 


speculations  concerning  God  and  divine  beings  (Hypostases l 
=  Amesha  Spenta) ;  in  both,  sacrifice  and  worship  (Kult) 
recedes  before  ritual  and  ceremonial,  and  we  may  character 
ise  both  as  religions  of  observance  (of  the  Law).  In  both 
great  stress  is  laid  on  the  care  of  the  poor.  Just  as  the 
order  of  Scribes  arose  in  Judaism  over  against  the  priest 
hood,  the  Magi  among  the  Persians  gained  increasingly 
the  character  of  theologians,  commentators,  and  custodians 
of  an  ancient  scripture  tradition.  Just  as  a  canon  of 
Scripture  was  formed  in  later  Judaism,  Parsism  appears 
in  the  same  period  to  have  possessed  a  like  collection. 
True,  in  all  this  there  need  not  be  any  dependence :  it  may 
all  be  parallel  development.  But  the  coincidence  in  so 
many  points  is  extremely  remarkable,  and  compels  us  to 
examine  it  more  closely.  For  we  are  concerned  here  with 
contacts  and  perhaps  with  dependence  in  the  very  centre 
of  things. 

One  more  quotation  may  be  in  place  before  I 
proceed  to  elaborate  the  parallel.  Prof.  Soderblom,  at 
the  beginning  of  his  important  work,  Les  Fravashis, 
quotes  a  late  Parsi  creed  according  to  the  translation 
of  Darmesteter.  It  runs  thus  : 

I  have  no  doubt  as  to  the  truth  of  the  good  religion  of 
the  worshippers  of  Mazda,  the  coming  of  the  Resurrection 
and  the  future  life,  the  passing  of  the  Cinvat  Bridge,  the 
account  made  during  the  Three  Nights  [after  death]  of  merits 
and  reward,  of  faults  and  punishment,  the  truth  of  heaven 
and  hell,  the  annihilation  of  Ahriman  and  the  demons,  the 
final  victory  of  God  the  Spirit  of  Good,  and  the  destruction 
of  the  spirit  of  evil  and  the  demons,  the  brood  of  darkness. 

1  A  definition  of  these  hypostases  may  be  appended  from  Prof. 
3ertholet's  continuation  of  Stade,  Bibl.  Theol.  des  A.  T.,  n.  394 : 
hey  are  "nicht  ganz  so  anschaulich  konkrete,  volkstiimliche 
^estalten  wie  die  Engel,  aber  auch  nicht  reine  abstrakte  Gedan- 
:engebilde ;  die  naive  Philosophic  denkt  sie  sich  in  gewisser  Weise 
>ersonlich"  (W.  Luekens,  Die  Schriften  des  N.  T.,  n.  335). 



This  credo  is  removed  by  its  date  from  the  Early 
Zoroastrianism  to  which  we  are  limited,  but  it  is 
completely  in  the  spirit  of  the  oldest  period.  We 
cannot  read  it  without  recognising  how  little  material 
change  must  be  made  to  enable  devout  Christians  to 
use  it  heartily.  We  should  have  to  add  to  it,  and 
add  what  is  of  primary  importance,  but  there  is 
nothing  to  take  away.  It  is  well  to  realise  this  at 
the  outset,  that  we  may  the  better  appreciate  our 

The  comparison  in  detail  may  begin  with  the  idea 
of  God.  That  the  divine  name  "  Wise  Lord "  is 
closely  akin  to  Biblical  conceptions  needs  no  proof. 
But  it  is  interesting  to  observe  that  the  Old  Testa 
ment  conception  of  "  wisdom  "  as  a  strictly  practical 
and  ethical  attribute  answers  well  to  Zarathushtra's 
view,  in  which  there  is  no  room  for  merely  speculative 
or  theoretical  knowledge.  The  omniscience  of  the 
Creator  is  a  point  kept  in  great  prominence  by 
Zarathushtra,  who  would  have  found  nothing  to 
question  in  such  an  exposition  as  the  twenty-eighth 
chapter  of  Job.  The  doctrine  grew  in  explicitness 
in  later  times,  when  this  attribute  of  Deity  was  so 
conspicuous  that  ignorance  and  blindness  had  to  be 
primary  features  of  the  evil  spirit  who  was  the 
mechanical  antithesis  of  the  Good  in  all  his  functions. 
Another  parallel  development  may  be  seen  in  the 
conception  of  the  "  wisdom  "  that  God  gives  to  men. 
In  the  Hebrew  scriptures  it  is  the  "  fear  of  Yahweh, 
the  knowledge  how  to  live  in  conformity  to  the  wil 
of  God.  In  the  book  of  Proverbs  Wisdom  i: 
personified  in  a  way  that  reminds  us  strongly  o 
Aramaiti,  whom  Plutarch  represented  as  2o<£/a.  Th< 


personification  in  each  case  is  feminine,  and  pictures 
a  spirit  specially  associated  with  the  Deity :  in  post- 
Gathic  phrase,  Aramaiti  is  the  "  daughter  "  of  Ahura 
Mazdah.  Those  who  are  so  minded  may  observe  that 
she  was  especially  protectress  of  the  Earth,  from 
Aryan  times,  and  may  recall  that  in  Prov.  830  f. 
Wisdom  was  with  Yahweh  when  the  Earth's  founda 
tions  were  laid,  and  took  her  pleasure  in  it. 

That  the  "  Only    Wise    God "    was    Creator   is   a 

fundamental  doctrine  of  both  religions.     The  already 

quoted  confession  of  the   Ach^emenian  kings  shows 

that  Ahura  made  both  the  material  and  the  moral 

world,1  both  man  and  happiness.     But  in  the  original 

Zarathushtrian   doctrine,    even    as   in   the   emphatic 

words  of  Deutero-Isaiah,  there  was  no  room  for  the 

dualism  which  removed  from  the  Creator's  province 

the  darker  side  of  the  world.     In  Isai.  457  Yahweh 

•'  creates  darkness  "  and  "  evil "  ; 2  and  in  the  Gathas 

;  Ys  445)  Ahura  creates  darkness,  being  indeed,  as  the 

context   emphatically  declares   (t;.7),  creator   of  "  all 

:hings."      The    Gathas    do    not   retain   for   us    any 

suggestion  that  Ahura  made  disease  or  death,  as  the 

Hebrew  prophet  boldly  claims.     Naturally  the  Magi 

kvould  eliminate  this  feature   if  it   was    ever   there, 

laving  developed  the  idea  of  a  counter-creation.    The 

bought  of  actual  creation  ex  nihilo  was  present  in  the 

3undahish,  as  Casartelli  points  out :  see  SHE,  v.  121  f. 

Whether  this  is  based  on  ancient  material  we  naturally 

1  The  statement  depends  on  our  rendering  of  siydtis,  Avestan 
ditis,  which  in  the    latter   can    only    mean    "joy "  :    compare    its 
ognate  quies.     Other  renderings  have  been  given,  but  there  does 
ot  seem  room  for  doubt. 

2  That  is,  of  course,  physical  or  material  evil,  not  moral. 



cannot  determine ;  nor  can  we  say  with  certainty 
how  early  the  idea  appeared  in  Israel.  It  is  said  by 
Dr  Skinner  to  appear  first  unambiguously  in  2  Mace. 
728,  dated  not  long  before  our  era.  Even  this  passage 
is  questioned  by  Hatch  (Hibbert  Lectures,  p.  195  f.), 
who  would  make  the  Gnostic  Basilides  the  earliest 
to  announce  the  doctrine.1 

Two  other  striking  features  may  be  noticed  in 
which  the  concept  of  Deity  approximates  in  the  two 
religions.  That  "  God  is  light,  and  in  Him  is  no 
darkness  at  all"  is  a  doctrine  too  familiar  to  need 
further  illustration.  But  Parsism  from  the  first  lays 
quite  equal  stress  on  the  idea.  In  the  anthropomor 
phic  phrase,  Ahura  "  clothes  himself  with  the  massy 
heavens,"  even  as  Yahweh  "  cover[s  him]self  with 
light  as  with  a  garment. "  Later  we  have  the  splendid 
phrase  that  the  body  of  Ahura  is  like  the  light  and 
his  soul  like  Truth.2  This  is  as  immaterial  a  con 
ception  as  could  be  easily  devised,  and  it  fits  in  with 
the  constant  insistence  on  the  spiritual  nature  of  God. 
Prof.  Soderblom  well  brings  out  the  fundamental 
antithesis  of  corporeal  and  spiritual  (astvant  ano 
mainyava).  It  goes  back  to  early  times,  and  maj 
be  called  an  alternative  dualism.  He  notes  that  th( 
Jewish  fundamental  antithesis  was  rather  betweer 
the  present  age  and  the  future.3  Ahura  is  wholh 
spiritual,  and  surrounded  by  spirits.  The  grea 
Johannine  saying  that  God  is  Spirit,  and  Hi 

1  I  owe  the  reference  to  my  colleague  Prof.  A.  S.  Peake. 

2  See  p.  391  for  its  original  Greek  (Porphyry). 

3  Les  Fravashis,  60  f.     The  division  cuts  across  the  other  dualisti 
division :  cf.  the  illustrations  quoted  from  Prof.  Soderblom  abov' 
p.  147  f. 


worshippers  must  worship  in  spirit  and  truth,  would 
translate  very  easily  into  Gathic.  Nor  would  the 
Pauline  antithesis  of  the  seen  and  the  unseen,  the 
temporal  and  the  eternal,  sound  unfamiliar  to  men 
whose  thought  was  guided  by  Zarathushtra. 

The  most  characteristic  feature  of  Zarathushtra's 
own  theology  is  the  doctrine  of  the  Amshaspands. 
It  has  been  already  shown  that  we  are  specially  bound 
here  to  distinguish  the  Gathic  teaching  from  that 
of  the  Later  Avesta,  and  carefully  avoid  crediting 
Zarathushtra  with  anything  for  which  we  cannot  give 
chapter  and  verse  from  his  own  poems.  This  means, 
as  we  saw,  that  the  collective  name  and  the  fixing  of 
a  number  must  be  sacrificed.  The  spirits  of  whom 
we  are  now  thinking  receive  in  the  Gathas  distinctly 
the  name  Ahura  just  as  Mazdah  does.  They  are,  in 
fact,  no  more  detachable  from  Mazdah's  own  hypo- 
stasis  than  the  "  Angel  of  Yahweh  "  or  the  "  Spirit  of 
Yahweh "  is  from  Yahweh  himself  in  the  oldest 
Hebrew  scriptures.  The  whole  use  of  the  names  in 
the  Gathas  shows  us  that  we  have  to  do  with  con 
cepts  which  are  within  the  concept  of  God,  not 
separate  from  it.  The  combination  therefore  has  to 
be  taken  together  if  we  would  realise  what  attributes 
were  assigned  to  the  Deity  in  the  religion.  We 
soon  see  how  far  the  Jewish  and  the  Parsi  theology 
travel  together.  First  among  these  Divine  attributes 
stands  Asa,  the  Divine  Order,  ideal  Truth  and  Right. 
To  stop  and  prove  that  Judaism  made  righteousness 
and  judgement  the  foundation  of  God's  throne  would 
be  superfluous  indeed.  Then  comes  the  Thought  of 
God,  out  of  which  springs  all  that  is  good.  And  we 
are  taught  that  man  must  think  God's  Thought  after 


Him,  and  find  in  this  their  heaven.  Vohu  Manah  is 
in  fact  very  much  like  the  New  Testament  «5<Wa. 
His  two  sides  are  fairly  combined  in  the  phrase 
avOpwTroi  euSoKict?  in  the  Gloria — men  on  whom  God's 
vahistdm  mano  rests,  and  who  reflect  that  Best 
Thought  upon  all  around.  That  "  the  Kingdom 
belongs  to  Yahweh  "  was  a  central  doctrine  with  the 
prophets  of  Israel,  who  prepared  for  the  sublime 
simplicity  of  the  daily  prayer  eXOdrui  fj  (3a<ri\eia  a-ov— 
ajamyat  ysaftrdm  6wam,  as  Zarathushtra  might  well 
have  said.  The  constant  thought  of  the  Kingdom  of 
God  as  the  supreme  object  of  man's  ambition  is  in 
the  Gathas  largely  obscured  for  us  by  the  difficult 
language ;  but  it  is  central,  and  there  is  no  more 
significant  link  between  the  religion  of  the  Iranian 
prophet  and  that  of  the  Gospels.  Next  stands 
Aramaiti,  Piety,  which  seems  to  us  rather  an  attribute 
of  good  men  than  of  God.  But  it  is  fair  to  plead 
that  to  include  God's  best  gifts  within  His  own  nature 
is  true  to  the  deepest  reality.  The  Kingdom,  supreme 
Dominion,  is  what  He  possesses.  Piety,  Salvation 
and  Immortality  are  what  He  gives.  But  He  always 
gives  Himself.  We  may  complete  the  Biblical  parallel 
by  recalling  that  the  "  Son  "  of  God  is  expressly  said 
in  Heb.  57  f.  to  have  been  "  heard  because  of  his 
ev\a{3eia"  and  we  could  hardly  find  a  closer  Greek 
equivalent  for  Aramaiti.  The  same  verse  attributes 
vTrcLKor].,  sraosa,  to  Jesus,  and  thus  brings  in  another  of 
these  Zarathushtrian  Ahuras  as  an  attribute  of  one 
who  is  claimed  to  be  Divine.  The  special  epithet 
spanta  suggests  a  further  parallel.  If  Piety  is  beyond 
all  others  "  holy,"  and  "  holy  "  means,  as  we  have  seen, 
"  beneficent,"  we  see  an  approximation  to  the  great 


doctrine  of  James  I26  f.,  that  the  only  ritual  (fy»?ovce/a) 
that  is  acceptable  to  the  God  and  Father  is  that  of 
practical  benevolence  and  a  pure  heart.  So  we  pass 
on  to  the  twin  gifts  of  God  to  man,  perfect  sound 
ness  and  endless  life.  "  I  came  that  they  may  have 
life  and  have  abundance,"  said  the  Johannine  Christ, 
and  these  are  just  the  two  great  gifts  foreshadowed  in 
Zarathushtra's  thought :  their  splendid  comprehensive 
ness  shows  how  well  he  knew  <^Aoui/  ra  •^aplcr/ui.ara  TO. 
imeifyva.1  And  like  the  rest,  these  gifts  are  attributes 
of  the  Divine.  Here,  as  all  through  our  exposition, 
we  can  go  to  the  New  Testament  to  enlarge  and 
explain  great  truths  that  Zarathushtra  saw  "in  a 
mirror,  riddlewise."  To  realise  the  Amshaspand 
Haurvatat,  "  Wholeness,"  or  Salvation,2  we  remember 
the  command,  "  Be  perfect,  even  as  your  heavenly 
Father  is  perfect."  And  for  its  twin,  the  projection 
of  this  perfect  soundness,  this  fullness  of  life  and 
blessing,  into  a  future  which  death  has  no  power  to 
mar,  we  think  of  the  revelation  of  Him  who  "  only 
hath  immortality,  dwelling  in  unapproachable  light,"3 
and  of  the  words  that  tell  us  how  He  "  created  man 
for  incorruption,  and  made  him  an  image  of  his  own 
proper  being."4 

I  have  intentionally  spent  a  little  time  in  expanding 
the  obvious  parallels  from  the  Christian  Scriptures, 

1  John  1010,  1  Cor.  1231. 

2  Jackson,  in  a  recent  paper  (Amer.  Journal  of  Theol.,  April  1913, 
p.  198),  remarks  that  Haurvatat  "denotes  '  wholeness/  'perfection,' 
'  saving  grace/  and  hence  '  salvation  ' '  — its  etymological  cognate, 
by  the  way. 

3  1  Tim.  616. 

4  Wisdom  223.     For  £810x771-05  two  cursives  read  dtSum/Tos,  "  ever- 


because  the  very  juxtaposition  of  the  implicit  and 
the  explicit  may  help  us  to  make  for  ourselves  a 
profitable  comparison  of  the  two  religions.  We 
cannot  praise  the  older  faith  more  highly  than  by 
showing  how  it  contained  seed-thoughts  that  in  the 
light  and  warmth  of  Christian  enthusiasm  might  have 
blossomed  into  beauty  for  all  the  world  to  admire. 
There  is  also  another  comment  that  will  be  in  place 
after  nearly  every  paragraph  in  the  present  exposition. 
We  have  seen  that  Judaism  and  Christianity  have 
developed  a  series  of  fundamental  ideas  which  can  be 
recognised  centuries  before  in  the  obscure  phrases 
of  the  Gathas.  But  the  difference  of  setting  is  so 
complete  that  we  have  not  to  argue  against  the 
perversely  ingenious  people  who  write  as  if  there 
was  a  complete  set  of  Sacred  Books  of  the  East  in 
Aramaic  on  the  shelves  of  a  public  library  in  Nazareth 
or  Capernaum.  One  cannot,  of  course,  predict  what 
a  Jensen  or  a  Drews  may  say — quibus  est  nihil 
negatum  !  But  for  scholars  in  general  there  will,  of 
course,  be  no  thought  of  dependence  in  such  a  sphere 
as  this ;  and  the  very  fact  that  there  may  be  such 
deep-seated  affinity  in  religions  which  at  least  in  these 
respects  admittedly  did  not  influence  one  another, 
may  be  remembered  as  a  useful  caution  later  on. 

Pursuing  my  general  comparative  method,  I 
proceed  to  point  out  a  more  recondite  affinity  than 
those  I  have  been  noticing.  I  have  observed  already 
that  the  Amshaspands  are  so  markedly  within  the 
Divine  hypostasis  as  not  to  allow  the  sugges 
tion  that  Zarathushtra's  own  thought  fell  short  of 
monotheism.  There  is  a  very  real  but  by  no  means 
obvious  parallel  in  the  development  of  Early  Christian 


theology.  For  my  purpose  it  does  not  matter  when 
or  how  the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity  emerged  as  an 
attempt  to  explain  the  mutual  relations  of  Divine 
Personalities  who  are  central  in  the  New  Testament : 
my  point  would  not  be  affected  if  the  Trinitarian 
dogma  was  the  invention  of  Athanasius.  Nor  need 
I  stop  to  define  the  Catholic  doctrine,  which  I 
naturally  do  not  suggest  to  be  an  exact  or  even  very 
close  parallel  to  Zarathushtra's  idea.  Obviously  the 
Iranian  sage  would  never  have  approved  or  even 
understood  the  Athanasian  Creed.  For  him  the 
doctrine  of  an  incarnation  would  have  associated 
itself  with  the  unlovely  avatars  of  Aryan  mythology, 
and  have  suffered  discredit  from  the  association,  just 
as  it  would  have  been  discredited  in  the  eyes  of 
Socrates  by  the  epiphanies  of  Greek  deities.  It  is 
very  suggestive  that  the  Christian  doctrine  of  Incarna 
tion  sprang  up  on  virgin  soil.1  The  affinity  between 
the  Christian  and  the  pure  Zarathushtrian  doctrine 
lies  simply  in  the  fact  that  both  systems  realise  the 
necessity  of  recognising  a  differentiation  within  the 
Godhead — that  if  God  is  "  the  white  radiance  of 
eternity,"  there  is  also  "  a  rainbow  round  about  the 
Throne,"  which  is  that  same  Radiance  seen  in  another 
way.  There  are  six  hues,  or  more,  in  Zarathushtra's 
rainbow,  only  three  in  the  Christian,  but  the  under 
lying  reason  is  the  same.  It  is,  moreover,  only 

1  Perhaps  I  had  better  guard  myself  by  observing  that  I  am 
perfectly  aware  of  arguments  that  have  been  urged  in  favour  of 
foreign  influences  here.  I  cannot  discuss  them  in  these  Lectures, 
and  need  only  say  that  they  entirely  fail  to  commend  themselves 
to  my  judgement,  which  in  this  matter  is  altogether  free  from  bias. 
How  anyone  could  fail  to  see  in  Matt,  i.-ii.  the  most  intensely 
Jewish  chapters  in  the  New  Testament  passes  my  comprehension. 


heightened  by  the  impossibility  of  equating  any  part 
of  the  Hexad  to  a  part  of  the  Triad.  It  would  be 
possible  enough  to  argue  for  a  Trinity  in  the  Gathas, 
where  Ahura  Mazdah,  Asha  and  Vohu  Manah  stand 
together  in  very  marked  detachment  from  the  remain 
ing  four.  But  the  comparison  helps  us  nothing :  we 
might  as  well  illustrate  the  Athanasian  Creed  by  quot 
ing  the  triad  Zeus,  Ge,  and  Helios  l  from  Egyptian 
Greek  papyri.  There  is  a  "  Holy  Spirit "  in  the 
Gathas,  but  he  is  not  a  separate  Ahura.  We  find 
Mazdah  described  as  the  Father  of  Asha  (Ys  443), 
but  the  conception  is  too  metaphorical  and  abstract 
to  suggest  except  verbally  the  Divine  Fatherhood 
of  the  New  Testament.  Then  there  is  Darmesteter's 
attempt  to  compare  Vohu  Manah  with  the  Logos. 
But,  as  Prof.  Mills  very  justly  observes,2  Asha 
would  have  been  decidedly  preferable  in  this  com 
parison,  if  the  Gathas  are  mainly  in  view ;  and  the 
resemblance  is  shadowy  at  best.  Putting  aside  all 
attempts  to  force  parallels  which  are  not  helpful,  we 
may  be  the  more  impressed  by  the  far  deeper  unity 
of  the  two  systems  in  the  way  in  which  they  were 
led  to  look  upon  God.3 

1  So  Oxyrhynchus  Papyri,  vol.  i.  pp.  106,  107,  in  two  documents, 
dated  86  and   100  A.D.  (as  restored  by  Deissmann  in   ThLZ,  1898, 
p.  628).     The  formula  is  said  by  Schiirer  to  recur  twice  in  inscriptions 
of  the  Bosporus.     One  may  compare  with  this  the  triad  of  Artaxerxes 
Mnemon,  mentioned  on  the  next  page. 

2  ZaraQustra,  Philo,  the  Achcemenids  and  Israel,  p.  17. 

3  A  very  remarkable  argument  by  a  Mohammedan  scholar,  who 
claims  that  the  idea  of  differentiation  within  the  Godhead  is  implicit 
in  the  faith  of  Islam  as  well  as  in  Christianity,  is  cited  in  Internal. 
Review  of  Missions  for  January  1913,  p.  115  f.     See  some  remarks 
on    this    in    my    Religions   and    Religion    (Fernley   Lecture, 

p.   100  f. 


I  should  mention,  perhaps,  that  Prof.  Soderblom, 
in  his  interesting  paper  on  "  Holy  Triads,"  com 
municated  to  the  Oxford  Congress  for  the  History  of 
Religions,1  cited  Prof.  Albrecht  Weber,  who  made 
what  seems  a  rather  strange  selection  of  the  most 
important  questions  concerning  the  influence  of  the 
Avestan  religion  upon  the  Biblical  religions.  It  is 
"  the  possible  connexion  between  the  Avestan  triad, 
God,  the  Doctrine,  the  Souls  of  the  pious  believers 
(the  Fravashis)  .  .  .  and  the  Christian  Trinity  .  .  . ; 
and  the  Buddhist  triad,  Buddha,  the  Law,  and  the 
Congregation,  must  also  be  taken  into  account." 
Prof.  Soderblom  justly  observes  that  "such  a  trinity 
scarcely  appears  in  the  A  vesta."  He  himself  has 
much  to  say  of  a  Holy  Triad  found  independently  in 
non-polytheistic  founded  religions,  "  the  Revealer,  his 
revelation  (God),  and  the  new  life  of  his  followers," 
which  stands  in  sharp  antithesis  to  the  triads  of  poly 
theistic  creeds  :  Mazdah,  Anahita  and  Mithra  on  the 
inscriptions  of  Mnemon  will  serve  as  an  example. 

What  I  said  above  about  the  "  Holy  Spirit " 
(Spdnta  Mainyu}  of  Mazdeism  leaves  me  free  to  note 
how  strikingly  the  Gathic  concept  illustrates  that  of 
the  "Spirit  of  Yahweh"  in  the  Old  Testament. 
There  is  the  same  combination  of  distinctness  and 
identity,  the  same  stress  upon  spirituality.  Of 
course,  the  fact  that  we  use  the  same  English  render 
ing  must  not  mislead  us  into  an  exaggerated  notion  of 
the  equivalence  of  Spdnta  Mainyu  and  TO  ayioi  Trvev/ma 
or  its  Hebrew  original.  The  connotation  of  "  holiness  " 
in  the  two  languages  is  quite  distinct ;  and  while  Greek 
and  Hebrew  get  their  word  for  "  spirit "  from  the 

1   Transactions,  ii.  391. 


idea  of  "  breath,"  the  Avestan  starts  from  the  verb 
"think."  A  smaller  point  I  may  just  name  before  I 
pass  from  this  comparison.  In  Ys  335  we  read  of 
"  the  Dominion  of  Good  Thought "  (\8a6r9m  vavhaus 
mananho}.  So  we  may  have  one  of  the  Hexad  depend 
ing  on  another,  instead  of  on  Mazdah.  It  is  perhaps 
not  too  fanciful  to  compare  the  occasional  appearance 
of  TO  TTveu/ma  'Irjvov  or  XpicrTov  in  the  New  Testament  as 
a  designation  of  the  Third  Person  of  the  Trinity. 

I  must  pass  on  from  these  necessarily  abtruse 
points  of  theology,  in  which  it  is  easy  for  one  who 
is  neither  philosopher  nor  expert  in  the  history  of 
dogma  to  stumble.  Whether  my  comparison  hitherto 
has  been  just  or  fanciful,  I  am  on  sure  ground  when 
I  point  out  the  general  resemblance  of  the  paths  by 
which  the  two  religions  reached  the  heights  of 
monotheism.  To  each  people  when  polytheism  still 
reigned  there  came  a  great  Prophet,  the  centre  of 
whose  message  was  to  bid  them  fix  their  thought 
and  faith  on  One  alone.  But  neither  Moses  nor 
Zarathushtra  denied  the  existence  of  other  beings 
called  divine.  The  Gathas  know  nothing  of  gods 
who  could  be  regarded  as  inferior  to  Mazdah  but  on 
his  side.  For  Zarathushtra,  we  should  judge,  the  step 
was  already  taken  which  late  in  Israel's  history  made 
the  gods  of  other  peoples  real  divinities,  but  of  devilish 
nature.  In  the  Inscriptions,  however,  Ahura  Mazdah 
is  "the  greatest  of  gods  (maQista  baganam}"  and 
these  "  gods  (baga]  "  are  beneficent.  We  may  assume 
safely  that  if  Zarathushtra  tried  to  ignore  these 
inferior  deities  he  failed  to  carry  his  people  with  him. 
The  growth  of  monotheism,  after  the  primary  impulse 
was  spent,  lay  along  the  same  lines  in  both  nations. 


The  transcendence  of  the  one  national  deity — Ahura 
Mazdah,  "  the  God  of  the  Aryans,"  Yahweh,  "  the 
God  of  Israel "-—  became  more  and  more  marked  with 
time  ;  and  ultimately  the  nation  reached  a  real  mono 
theism  by  this  road.  In  each  case  there  is  a  possi 
bility  that  the  Founder  reached  it  ages  before.  It 
may  be  added  that  the  lines  of  religious  declension 
were  much  the  same.  The  old  polytheism  in  each  case 
constantly  threatened  to  return.  Mithra  and  Anahita 
might  in  theory  be  only  yazata,  angels  subordinated  to 
the  only  God,  just  as  in  medieval  Christianity  Michael 
and  the  Virgin  were  by  theologians  kept  wholly  apart 
from  Deity.  But  with  the  populace  the  distinction 
was  unreal,  and  polytheism  virtually  returned,  as  it  did 
throughout  the  history  of  Israel  before  the  Captivity. 
The  part  played  by  the  Prophet  may  be  compared 
with  suggestive  results.  Zarathushtra  stands  solitary 
in  the  history  of  Parsism,  while  Moses  has  a  series  of 
successors,  some  of  whom  were  at  least  as  great  as 
himself.  There  lies  the  most  important  part  of  the 
ultimate  difference  between  the  destiny  of  the 
religions.  In  other  respects  the  parallel  will  hold. 
Each  Founder  was  credited  in  later  days  with  a 
complete  legislative  system,  which  in  Zarathushtra's 
case  was  the  work  of  men  wholly  alien1  from  his 
spirit.  By  way  of  compensation,  the  men  who  mis- 

1  Here  I  must  chronicle  the  fact  that  my  friend  Prof.  Jackson 
sprinkles  queries  about  these  two  words.  His  opinion  is  worth  so 
much  more  than  mine  that  the  reader  should  be  told  when  I  am 
venturing  without  his  company.  My  main  contention  is  that  the 
ritual  of  the  Vendidad  was  alien  to  Zarathushtra,  who,  as  I  under 
stand  him,  had  nothing  of  the  ritual  or  the  sacerdotal  in  his  system. 
But  I  have  no  doubt  that  without  their  adaptation  Zarathushtra's 
thought  would  have  failed  to  survive. 


represented  him — unconsciously  enough,  we  may 
probably  assume — elevated  him  to  a  virtually  divine 
rank,  and  supported  the  apotheosis  with  a  multitude 
of  singularly  feeble  miracles.  It  will  be  admitted 
that  the  memory  of  Moses  was  hallowed  in  ways 
more  congruous  with  the  Prophet's  true  character 
and  message. 

When  we  come  down  from  the  Doctrine  of  God 
into  the  comparatively  indifferent  sphere  of  angel- 
ology,  we  are  entering  a  subject  where  dispute  is 
more  feasible.  But  even  here  we  may  put  in  the  fore 
front  some  coincidences  which  none  would  claim  to 
be  anything  else.  The  prominence  of  Fire  in  both 
religions  will  be  one,  for  it  is  too  obviously  old  to  be 
conceivably  borrowed.  "  The  Fire  of  Yahweh  "  and 
"  the  Fire  of  Ahura  Mazdah "  are  parallel  phrases, 
and  the  associations  of  each  are  very  similar.  Yet  it 
is  clear  that  the  sacredness  of  Fire  as  an  emblem 
came  to  Iran  and  to  Israel  by  totally  different  roads. 
The  Zoroastrian  A  tar,  with  which  we  compared  the 
Latin  atrium,  the  room  where  the  house-fire  burnt, 
was  in  its  origin  neither  sacrificial  nor  elemental,  but 
represented  simply  the  fire  of  the  hearth,  which  in 
a  country  of  intensely  cold  winters  had  never  lost  the 
supreme  importance  belonging  to  it  in  the  Urheimat 
in  Northern  Europe  and  through  the  long  migrations 
over  the  Steppes.  The  Fire  of  Yahweh  was  in  its 
origin,  we  may  suppose,  the  lightning : l  the  narratives 

1  Or  the  volcano :  I  do  not  pretend  to  determine  a  matter  which 
concerns  the  Old  Testament  specialist.  There  is  much  interesting 
matter  on  this  subject  in  Hugo  Gressmann's  Eschatologie.  Dr 
Gressmann  would  trace  a  connexion  between  volcanic  theophanies 
and  the  ayah  ^susta,  comparing  especially  Enoch  526  674  ff.,  where  we 
have  mountains  of  metal  that  melt.  He  would  also  (see  p.  37-40) 


of  the  theophanies  in  fire,  and  the  familiar  phrases  in 
which  the  God  of  Israel  is  described  as  "  everlasting 
burnings  "  or  "  a  devouring  fire,"  are  distant  survivals 
of  what  was  once  quite  literal  and  had  become  wholly 
spiritualised.  Another  quasi -angelic  figure  in  the 
Gathas  is  the  Ox-Soul,  which,  with  the  Ox-Creator, 
represents  the  world  of  animal  life  entrusted  to  the 
diligent  husbandman.  There  is  a  likeness  in  the 
loftier  and  wider  conception  of  the  "  Four  Living 
Creatures,"  borrowed  by  the  New  Testament  apoca- 
lyptist  from  Ezekiel,  and  defined  by  a  commentator 
as  representing  "Creation  and  the  Divine  immanence 
in  Nature."  Other  points  in  angelology  we  will 
postpone  for  the  present,  as  affording  at  least  a 
plausible  case  for  direct  borrowing. 

We  come,  then,  to  the  Doctrine  of  Evil.  Here 
again  there  has  naturally  been  strong  presumption  of 
Persian  influence  on  later  Judaism.  Returning  to 
that  point  after  developing  the  present  thesis,  I  will 
note  here  some  resemblances  in  which  influence  would 
not  be  alleged.  Before  doing  so  let  me  quote  a 
sentence  from  Prof.  De  Groot's  Religion  of  the 
Chinese  (p.  3) : 

The  oldest  and  holiest  books  of  the  empire  teach  that 
the  universe  consists  of  two  souls  or  breaths,  called  Yang 
and  Yin,  the  Yang  representing  light,  warmth,  productivity, 
and  life,  also  the  heavens  from  which  all  these  good  things 
emanate ;  and  the  Yin  being  associated  with  darkness,  cold, 
death,  and  the  earth. 

get  the  later  conceptions  of  Weltbrande,  found  in  Jewish  pseudepi- 
graphic  writings  (and  in  2  Peter),  from  Iranian  sources.  I  am  not 
much  tempted,  I  confess.  The  matter  should  come  later,  but  I 
mention  it  here  as  I  shall  not  be  returning  to  it. 


I  might  proceed  with  the  quotation  for  another 
page,  but  this  sentence  will  suffice  to  show  that 
Parsism,  especially  in  its  Magian  form,  has  parallels 
in  Chinese  religion  comparable  with  anything  we 
could  find  in  Judaism.  Prof.  De  Groot  does  not 
allude  to  Parsism,  unless  it  be  in  rejecting  with  em 
phasis  "theories  advanced  by  some  scientists"  that 
China's  religion  proper  had  its  origin  "  in  Chaldsean 
or  Bactrian  countries,"  and  maintaining  that  "  it  has 
had  a  spontaneous  birth  on  China's  soil"  (p.  2).  But 
if  we  wrote  Oromazdes  for  Yang  and  Areimanios  for 
Yin,  we  might  well  imagine  his  words  to  be  a  para 
phrase  of  Plutarch  on  the  religion  of  the  Magi.  We 
shall  have  to  find  extraordinary  closeness  between 
Jewish  and  Persian  doctrine  before  we  can  argue  for 
historical  connexion,  with  this  Chinese  parallel  in  mind. 
A  very  fair  closeness,  however,  may  be  observed, 
if  nothing  so  close  as  the  Chinese.  Zarathushtra's 
own  name  for  the  spirit  of  evil,  "  the  Lie "  (Druj], 
resembles  the  Biblical  use  of  "  lie  "  for  an  idol :  cf. 
Isai.  4420,  Rom.  I25,  Rev.  2127,  Jer.  10M.  The  parallel 
comes  out  more  vividly  in  the  emphasis  with  which 
both  religions  enthrone  Truth  as  supremely  Divine. 
As  we  have  seen  (p.  135  f),  once  in  the  Gathas  the 
epithet  "  enemy  "  (angra}  is  applied  to  the  spirit  of 
evil ;  and  the  term  was  caught  up,  by  the  Magi, 
apparently,  to  become  the  normal  title  of  the  evil 
deity  of  later  dualism.  Curiously  enough,  the 
Hebrew  term  "  Satan "  has  the  same  meaning  as 
Angra,  and  develops  in  much  the  same  way.  That 
angra  meant  "  enemy  "  was  lost  in  the  Parsi  tradition, 
which  renders  "  wicked  "  or  "  murderous  " ; l  but  we 

1  Neriosengh,  hantar.     I  take  this  from  Mills. 


cannot  base  any  argument  on  this,  as  we  do  not  know 
how  long  what  is  pretty  certainly  the  original  meaning 
survived.  But  authorities  on  Hebrew  religion  point 
out  that  "  the  Satan "  is  in  the  earlier  passages 
completely  subordinate  to  Yahweh ; l  and  this  is 
held  to  differentiate  him  from  Angra  Mainyu, 
who  is  set  in  a  dualistic  opposition  to  Ahura  Maz- 
dah.  Now  it  is  true  that  in  the  Gathas  the 
"  Two  Primeval  Spirits "  are  thus  opposed  ; 2  and 
it  is  obvious  that  no  Jew  could  ever  have  allowed 
the  notion  of  an  evil  spirit  apparently  coeternal 
with  Yahweh,  as  far  as  the  beginning  is  con 
cerned.  But  later  Parsism  subordinates  Ahri- 
man  as  thoroughly  as  could  be.  He  has,  indeed, 
the  power  of  creation,  and  not  only  (like  the  Satan 
of  Job)  a  delegated  power  to  hurt.  But  ignorance 
and  blindness,  and  the  strictest  limitation  of  his 
power,  with  final  destruction  awaiting  him  at  a  set 
time,  subordinate  him  sufficiently ;  and  if  some 
of  these  traits  are  developed  only  in  the  Magian 
process  of  antithesis,  we  must  remember  that  in  no 
other  form  would  Persian  ideas  reach  the  Jews.  We 
should,  however,  go  on  to  note  that  the  Bundahish 
makes  the  time -limit  originate  in  an  arrangement 
between  Ormazd  and  Ahriman,  in  which  the  latter 
overreached  himself  through  possessing  only  "  back 
ward  knowledge."  This  transaction  (if  the  Bundahish 
is  not  depending  here  on  purely  Sassanian  notions)  is 
as  alien  as  it  well  could  be  from  the  whole  spirit  of 

1  See  G.  B.  Gray,  Enc.  Bibl.,  4297  ;  Stade,  Gesch.,  ii.  243. 

2  See   Ys  303  and  notes,  also  p.  1 32  f.     In   Ys  452  we  have  the 
sharp  antithesis  brought  out :  this  is  the  one  place  where  the  term 
angra  occurs  in  the  Gathas. 



the  Yahweh  religion.1  An  actual  genetic  relation 
between  Parsism  and  the  growth  of  the  Satan  idea  in 
Judaism  seems  to  be  thus  excluded :  how  far  a 
connexion  may  have  existed  we  will  inquire  later. 
Meanwhile  we  may  note  Prof.  Soderblom's  remark2  ; 
that  Angra  is  not  enough  to  explain  the  Satan,  for  he 
does  not  go  beyond  his  own  domain  in  the  corporeal 
world :  here  we  must  not,  however,  forget  that  he 
is  emphatically  the  spirit  of  lies,  which  makes  him 
obviously  a  Tempter.  Soderblom  refers  to  Luke  46, 
John  1231,  2  Cor.  44,  1  John  519  as  essentially  strange 
to  Mazdeism.  That  religion  certainly  could  not  con 
ceive  of  Ahriman  as  "  prince  of  this  world,"  which 
is  the  scene  of  the  great  strife,  and  of  victories  for 
Ahura  marked  by  few  defeats.  The  difference  of 
conception  is  thus  very  deep-seated,  even  though  it  is 
possible  to  describe  the  affinity  in  words  that  go  far. 
Thus  Prof.  Jackson  sums  it  up3  by  saying  that 
Ahriman  resembles  Satan  in  being 

alike  opponent  of  God,  tempter  of  the  Saviour,  foe  of 
mankind,  author  of  lies,  a  traitor  and  deceiver,  an  arch 
fiend  in  command  of  hosts  of  demons. 

To  this  we  may  add  that  the  host  over  which  the 
evil  spirit  presides  was  recruited  in  the  same  way  in 
Iran  and  in  Israel.  The  Daevas,  as  we  have  seen, 

1  To  a  very  limited  extent,  perhaps,  we  ought  to  allow  that  the 
Prologue  of  Job  shows  us  the  Satan  parleying  with  Yahweh,  and 
being  ultimately  overreached  by  his  own   proposals.     But  in  the 
Pahlavi  theology  God  makes  proposals  to  the  Devil  and  so  ensnares 
him,  which  goes  a  long  way  beyond  the  challenge  of  Yahweh  in 
Job.     And  in  Job  the  Satan  is  not  yet  the  foe  of  God :  they  are 
not  two  antagonistic  world-powers.     It  is  here  that  the  essential 
contrast  lies. 

2  Reviewing  Stave,  in  RHR,  xl.  266  ff.  3  Grundriss,  ii.  652. 


were  the  gods  of  the  pre- Reformation  age ;   and  so 

were   the    Baalim    in    Palestine.      Milton's    greatest 

joetry  has  made  the  later  Jewish  doctrine  vivid  for 

us,  peopling   hell   with   the   gods   of  other   nations. 

Akin  to  this  is  the  doctrine  of  the  fall  of  the  angels. 

The  Daevas  "  chose  "  the  wrong  side,  we  read  in  the 

Sathas  ( Ys  306),  which  suggests  distinctly  that  they 

'  kept  not  their  first  estate."     Naturally  the  basis  of 

:his  statement  is  simply  the  fact  that  the  majority 

>f  the  Iranian  people  to  whom  Zarathushtra  preached 

•efused  the  truth  he  offered  and    "  chose   the    Lie." 

The  Jewish  doctrine  originated  very  differently,  but 

he  result  is  the  same ;  and  in  both   religions   it   is 

:qually  inconspicuous.     Far  more  important  is   the 

loctrine  of  the  fall  of  man.     I  have  discussed   this 

iilly   in  Lecture  IV.     If  my   interpretation   of  an 

•bscure  text  is   right,    we   could    say   that   in   both 

eligions   the  primeval  parent  sinned  by  giving  for- 

lidden  food   which   should   bring   immortality,   and 

hat  the  sin  was  committed  through  the  deceit  of  a 

emon  power.     In  both  again  we  have  the  spirit  of 

vil  materialised  as  a  serpent — we  may  pass  over  the 

bsence  of  Azi  Dahaka  from  the  Fall  story,  which  is 

f  course  but  a  fragment.     And   in   both  the   con- 

squence  of  the  Fall  is  the  loss  of  the  Divine  "  Glory." 

Jut  in  this  way,  the  resemblance  is  so  striking  that 

re  should  assume  dependence  to  be  inevitable.     But 

lark  the  differences,  which  will  serve  as  an  illustra- 

i  on  of  the  too  much  neglected  fact  that  by  judicious 

election    one    can    make   widely   varying    material 

ppear  to  be  the  same.1     In  the  A  vesta,  it  is  a  king 

rho  gives  forbidden  food  to  his  subjects  ;  in  Genesis. 

1  See  on  this  my  Religions  and  Religion,  p.  26. 


a  woman  who  gives  it  to  her  husband.  In  the  former 
the  food  is  beef,  in  the  latter  the  fruit  of  a  tree. 
Moreover,  Yima  had  lost  his  pride  of  place  long  before 
the  Avestan  story  took  its  form :  he  was  only  in  the 
fifth  generation  of  mankind — Mahalalel  in  Genesis 
instead  of  Adam.  He  has  a  brother,  who  treats  him 
ultimately  as  Cain  treated  Abel,  and  there  are  men 
enough  in  the  world  to  supply  him  with  a  kingdom. 
His  story,  indeed,  has  features  which  recall  later 
narratives  in  Semitic  saga,  for  his  Var  has  points  in 
common  with  Noah's  ark — to  say  nothing  of  its 
resemblances  to  the  apocalyptic  imagery  of  the  New 
Jerusalem.  Since  the  Hebrew  stories  with  their 
Babylonian  parallels  are  far  too  old  to  be  borrowed 
from  Iranian  sources  in  any  period  that  lies  within 
centuries  of  the  dawn  of  Iranian  history,  any  borrow 
ing  hypothesis  here  must  work  the  other  way. 
Yima  emerges  accordingly  as  a  combination  of  ele 
ments  taken  from  Adam,  Eve,  their  son  Abel,  their 
great-great-great-grandson,  and  lastly  Noah.  I  had 
almost  forgotten  to  clinch  this  demonstration  by, 
the  decisive  fact  that  Gaya,  the  name  of  the  new 
Iranian  first  man,  means  "life,"  and  "Eve"  was 
understood  to  mean  the  same.  Many  a  less  weighty 
case  than  this  has  been  accepted  as  a  verdict  ol 
science  ere  nowr ! 

From  first  things  let  us  pass  to  the  last,  and  shew 
how  Zarathushtra  moved  in  parallel  lines  with  Israeli 
prophets  in  his  visions  of  the  End.  The  learned  ant 
ingenious  work  of  Boklen1  is  dedicated  entirely  t( 
this  subject ;  and  Stave's  Einftuss  des  Parsismus  au} 

1  Die  Verrvandtschaft  der  judisch-christlichen  mit  der  parsische 
Eschatologie  (Gottingen,  1902). 


das  Judentum1  devotes  much  space  to  it,  as  does 
Soderblom's  great  work,  La  Vie  Future  d'apres  le 
Mazdeisme.2  How  far  we  may  go  in  recognising 
Zarathushtra  as  a  real  influence  among  those  which 
ultimately  shaped  Jewish  and  Christian  eschatology 
we  will  inquire  later.  For  the  present  let  us  again 
note  merely  the  similarities  and  the  differences  of  the 
two  systems,  taking  first  the  future  of  the  world  and 
then  that  of  the  individual. 

Among  striking  but  certainly  fortuitous  coincidences 
the  most  notable  concern  the  figure  of  the  "  Future 
Deliverer."  We  have  seen  that  saosyant  in  the  Gathas 
is  the  term  which  Zarathushtra  uses  of  himself  and 
his  immediate  followers.  He  believes  that  it  will  be 
his  own  work  to  inaugurate  a  new  era,  and  he  pictures 
a  fiery  purging  of  the  world  wherein  all  evil  will  be 
destroyed.  Moreover,  he  distinctly  implies  that  "  this 
generation  shall  not  pass  away  till  all  these  things 
have  happened."  The  Prophet  died,  and  "all  things 
continue  as  they  were  from  the  beginning  of  the 
creation."  For  us,  as  in  the  case  of  one  yet  greater 
than  Zarathushtra,  the  lesson  is  that  to  know  the 
when  of  future  certainties,  discerned  by  prophetic 
nsight,  is  for  some  reason  wholly  incompatible  with 
"he  conditions  of  a  real  humanity.3  The  religion 

1  Haarlem,  1898.  2  Paris,  1901. 

3  To  discuss  the  application  of  this  principle  to  the  Gospels, 
mder  the  guidance  of  Mark  1 332,  is  of  course  impossible  here  ;  nor 
:an  I  even  indicate  my  own  view  without  trespassing  out  of  my 
>resent  subject,  difficult  though  it  is  even  to  institute  a  comparison 
vithout  stating  my  standpoint  in  this  much-discussed  question. 
To  show  that  I  have  not  ignored  the  problem,  1  may  just  refer 
o  a  paper  entitled  "  Maranatha "  in  the  Free  Church  Year-book 
or  IQll,  and  to  Religions  and  Religion,  p.  141. 


adapted  itself,  as  Christianity  had  to  do,  to  the  post 
ponement  of  the  great  hope.  Saoshyant  became  a 
figure  of  the  distant  future  linked  with  Zarathushtra 
by  a  miraculous  birth.1  The  too  dogmatic  precision 
of  Magian  thought  ultimately  fixed  a  date  for  the 
coming  of  Saoshyant.  According  to  the  Bundahish, 
as  worked  out  by  E.  W.  West  (SEE,  xlvii.  p.  xxxi), 
his  birth  will  take  place  in  2341  A.D.,  his  two  fore 
runners  dating  respectively  one  and  two  thousand 
years  before  this :  the  actual  Renovation  is  fixed  for 
2398  A.D.,  when  Saoshyant  reaches  the  age  of  fifty- 
seven.  Parsi  prediction,  wiser  than  that  which  even 
in  our  own  time  gains  thousands  of  credulous  ad 
herents  in  Christendom,  left  a  good  margin  of  time 
before  its  assertions  could  be  put  to  the  test  of 
experience.  Qui  vivra  verra  ! 

As  we  saw  above,  Zarathushtra  himself  concentrates 
mainly  on  the  individual's  future  destiny,  and  the 
reaction  of  that  destiny  on  present  conduct.  That 
men  will  be  judged  at  last  for  all  their  thoughts, 
words,  and  deeds,  and  that  their  own  Self  will 
determine  a  future  destiny  of  weal  or  woe,  is  the  sum 
of  his  teaching,  and  it  is  the  sum  of  Christian  teach- 

1  It  is  not  superfluous  to  remark  that  this  fact  has  been  pressed 
into  comparison  with  Isai.  7U  and  the  story  of  Matt.  1,  and  that  by 
Dr  P.  Horn,  a  first-rank  authority  on  Iranian  subjects.  It  seems 
necessary,  therefore,  to  relate  the  manner  of  Saoshyant's  birth  from 
the  seed  of  Zarathushtra,  preserved  by  99,999  Fravashis  in  the 
waters  of  Lake  Kasaoya,  in  which  at  last  three  maidens  successively 
will  be  impregnated  when  bathing,  and  bring  forth  several!) 
Saoshyant  and  his  two  predecessors,  U^syat  •  arata  and  U^syat  •  namah. 
See  SEE,  xxiii.  195  n.2  I  express  no  opinion  here  as  to  the 
Matthew  story ;  but  surely,  in  the  name  of  science  and  sense, 
we  might  be  spared  the  trouble  of  discussing  such  "  parallels  "  aj 
these ! 


ing  also.  He  is  equally  in  accord  when  he  promises 
the  righteous  a  spiritual  Paradise,  endless  in  duration, 
vocal  with  songs  of  praise,  and  bright  with  the 
Presence  of  God  and  the  Spirits  that  surround  the 
Throne.  Even  the  imagery  of  celestial  food  is 
common  to  both  systems,  while  the  difference  between 
"  spring  butter "  and  "  the  fruit  of  the  vine "  is 
sufficient  to  prove  the  emblems  wholly  independent. 
We  have  seen  that  Zarathushtra  associated  Judge 
ment  with  the  old  mythological  idea  of  the  Bridge 
over  which  the  soul  must  pass  to  heaven,  but  added  to 
it  the  significant  figure  of  Cinvant,  "  the  Separater  "  : 
here  we  are  at  once  reminded  of  Matt.  2532  (and 
Joel  3U  ?).  There  was  one  contingency  for  which 
Zarathushtra  made  provision,  the  thought  of  which 
never  came  into  Old  or  New  Testament.  His  criterion 
for  the  "  separation  "  at  the  Bridge  must  have  been 
the  ancient  balancing  of  merits  and  offences,  the  soul 
going  to  heaven  or  hell  according  as  the  one  or  the 
other  predominated.  It  was  inevitable  therefore  that 
the  case  of  equal  or  nearly  equal  balance  should  come 
into  consideration.  The  Christian  system  went 
deeper.  Every  man  must  be  either  wheat  or  tare, 
either  fig  or  thistle,  and  a  mixed  crop  of  figs  and 
thistledown  is  unthinkable.  Now  of  course  this 
seems  flatly  to  contradict  the  facts  of  life.  We  are 
mixed,  very  mixed ;  and  Zarathushtra  undeniably 
faced  a  notorious  reality,  whatever  we  may  think  of 
his  solution  of  it.  The  Christian  answer  would  be 
that  diagnosis  is  so  impossible  to  human  faculties 
that  we  cannot  even  imagine  an  absolutely  just  award 
upon  any  one  human  record :  if  we  are  theists  we 
must  assume  that  an  infinitely  higher  Intelligence 


will  solve  the  problem  which  is  too  hard  for  us  even 
to  set  down.  Our  more  practical  problem  is  to  live, 
and  to  bring  life  to  others. 

And  what  of  Retribution,  for  those  who  definitely 
"  chose  the  Worst  Thought "  ?  For  the  Gathas  there 
seems  to  be  but  one  answer.1  Penal  suffering  without 
end — ill  food  and  crying  of  "Woe!" — nothing  less 
is  the  reiterated  threat  of  the  Prophet  to  those  who 
defy  his  gospel.  The  Molten  Metal,  which  accom 
plishes  the  "  separation  "  (vldaiti)  of  mankind  at  the 
General  Judgement,  would  naturally  be  supposed  to 
annihilate  either  the  whole  being  of  the  sinner  or  the 
evil  that  is  in  him.  The  annihilationist  and  the 
universalist  theories  may  emerge  in  later  Parsism, 
but  neither  seems  to  have  occurred  to  Zarathushtra. 
And  of  course — explain  it  how  we  may — penal  suffer 
ing  without  visible  end  is  the  figure  which  in  the 
New  Testament  sets  forth  the  awful  reality  and 
heinousness  of  sin.  Independent  witnesses  here, 
most  certainly — for  the  resemblances  vanish  when  we 
come  to  detail, — the  prophet  minds  which  searched 
most  deeply  the  realities  of  life  agreed  that  their 
consequences  must  last  beyond  any  limit  that  our 
eyes  can  see. 

One  point  may  be  mentioned  from  later  Parsism  as  a 

1  I  must  correct  what  I  said  in  ERPP,  70,  as  too  strong  for  the 
evidence.  Prof.  Jackson  sends  me  a  note  here  which  I  am  glad  to 
quote  : — "  My  own  view  has  long  been  that  Z.  preached  eternal 
(yavaeca  yavaetataeca)  punishment  for  the  sinners,  as  implied  so 
often  in  the  Avesta  and  elsewhere ;  yet  we  have  in  Z.  the  same 
problem  as  with  our  own  Christian  'everlasting.'  The  Pahlavi 
interpretation  always  renders  the  phrase,  so  far  as  I  can  remember, 
by  '  till  the  future  body '  (tan-i-pasln),  or  '  until  the  Resurrection ' 


good  illustration  of  fortuitous  parallel.  Boklen  (p.  58  f. ) 
quotes  from  the  Sad  Dar1  a  statement  that  a  soul  which 
on  the  Fourth  Night  proved  to  be  deficient  in  good 
works  might  have  the  necessary  amount  made  up  by 
Mithra  and  Rashnu  out  of  the  works  of  supereroga 
tion  accumulated  by  men  of  the  good  religion.2  In 
later  Judaism  and  medieval  Christianity  this  doctrine 
makes  its  appearance,  and  as  far  as  date  goes  the 
Parsi  writer  might  be  a  borrower.  But  it  comes 
very  naturally  out  of  the  idea  of  weighing  merits, 
which  is  fundamental  in  Persian  thought.  The  Sad 
Da?~  theologian  insists  upon  that  doctrine  on  the  very 
next  page,  urging  that,  if  the  sin  outweighs  the  merit 
by  the  estimation  of  a  hair,  that  person  arrives  in 
hell.  He  does  not  seem  to  remember  the  other 
statement,  which  would  require  us  to  believe  that 
the  treasury  of  supererogatory  good  works  was  empty. 
The  oversight  is  due  simply  to  the  fact  that  the 
writer  has  a  different  object.  When  he  tells  of  the 
works  of  supererogation,  he  is  insisting  that  men  must 
have  no  "  hesitation  and  doubt "  as  to  the  superiority 
of  the  Religion  to  all  other  faiths,  with  its  store  of 
superfluous  merits  for  the  steadfast  believer  to  draw 
on.  His  moral  in  the  next  chapter  is  that  "  even  if 
a  sin  is  trifling  it  is  not  desirable  to  commit  it."  If 
this  conception  should  after  all  be  old,  there  is  no 
plausible  reason  for  supposing  that  the  Rabbis  knew 
of  it,  and  as  little  for  the  converse :  we  have  only 
independent  deductions  from  rather  similar  premisses. 

1  SEE,  xxiv.  258  :  on  its  date  see  West's  introduction,  p.  xxxvii. 

2  "This  is  to  be  associated,"   Prof.    Jackson  writes,  "with  the 
prayers  for  the  soul  as  still  made  among  the  Parsis  after  the  death 
of  one  beloved." 


The  weighing  of  actions  is  a  much  older  example 
of  independent  coincidence.  Prof.  Jackson l  cites  a 
passage  from  the  Catapatha  Brahmana  to  show  that 
this  is  "an  Indian  as  well  as  an  Iranian  idea."  This  need 
not  mean  that  we  assign  it  to  Aryan  antiquity,  though 
it  seems  to  be  suggested  in  the  Gathas  and  is  there 
fore  very  old  in  Iran.  But  some  of  the  Old  Testament 
parallels  cited  by  Boklen  are  sheltered  from  suspicion 
of  Zoroastrian  influence  by  their  very  date  :  this  must 
at  least  be  true  of  Job  316,  Prov.  162,  212,  2412.  In 
1  Sam.  23  we  have  the  same  word  applied  to  the 
weighing  of  actions,  in  a  much  older  passage.  But 
the  Hebrew  word  seems  nearer  to  measuring  than 
weighing.2  It  is  in  any  case  a  casual  figure  which 
could  occur  to  any  writer  without  help  from  a  foreign 
literature.  The  really  noteworthy  resemblances  come 
much  later.  Boklen  cites  the  Testament  of  Abraham, 
which  Dr  M.  R.  James  assigns  to  the  second 
century  A.D.S  Here  we  have  an  angel  with  scales, 
and  the  case  of  a  soul  whose  sins  and  merits  balance 
exactly,  the  total  of  each  having  been  entered  in  a 
book.  This  would  suit  a  Parsi  writing  very  well 
indeed,  but  even  here  we  ought  to  be  able  to  support 
the  parallel  with  other  suggestions  of  borrowing 
before  we  can  be  sure  of  a  real  connexion. 

Before  I  pass  to  the  formal  discussion  of  the 
problem  of  historical  dependence,  I  may  collect  a  few 
examples  of  isolated  thoughts  which  resemble  one 

1  Actes  du  X.  Congres   internal,  des  OrientaUstes  (Geneva,  1894-), 
ii.  65  ff. 

2  See  Driver's  note  on  1  Sam.,  I.e.,  and  the  Oxford  Hebrew  Lexicon, 
p.  1067. 

3  Texts  and  Studies,  n.  ii.  29  :  the  passage  is  on  p.  90  f. — see  also 
p.  70. 


another.  I  take  the  Parsi  parallel  from  Pahlavi 
books,  the  date  of  which  of  course  makes  borrow 
ing  from  Christian  Scriptures  abundantly  possible. 
Nevertheless,  I  greatly  doubt  whether  this  has  really 
taken  place :  accidental  coincidence  seems  to  me  far 
more  likely.  The  Golden  Rule  in  its  negative  form 
stands  in  a  position  by  itself.  I  have  put  it  into  my 
conjectural  restoration  of  the  story  underlying  Tobit 
(p.  336),  because  it  is  found  in  Parsi  writing  and  may 
be  old :  its  appearance  in  Tobit  may  therefore  be  due 
to  the  very  special  conditions  of  that  book.  In  the 
Bundahish  (SEE,  v.)  we  read  several  sentences  to 
which  Biblical  parallels  occur.  Thus  (p.  114)  the 
darkness  of  hell  is  "fit  to  grasp  with  the  hand " : 
cf.  Exod.  1021.  Of  the  future  life  it  is  said  (p.  126  f.) : 

They  give  every  one  his  wife,  and  show  him  his  children 
with  his  wife ;  so  they  act  as  now  in  the  world,  but  there  is 
no  begetting  of  children.1 

There  is  a  certain  resemblance  to  Luke  2035  f.  A 
striking  passage  on  p.  124  tells  us  that  a  righteous 
man  who  did  not  warn  his  wicked  friend  would  suffer 
shame  in  the  assembly  of  judgement :  West  quotes 
a  parallel  from  Arda-Viraf,  where  it  is  a  husband  who 
neglected  to  teach  his  wife.  We  may  compare 
Ezek.  331-9.2  A  distant  echo  of  Matt.  2540  may  be 
found  in  the  Dinkart  (SEE,  xxxvii.  196),  where  we 

1  On  this  see  Soderblom,  La  Vie  Future,  269. 

2  I  cannot   see    that   there    is    any    real    resemblance    between 
2  Cor.  53  and  Bd  30-s  (SEE,  v.  1 27) :  it  is  at  most  a  similarity  of 
phrase.     It  would  be  more  to  the  point  to  illustrate  Paul  here  by 
the  Robe  in  the  "  Hymn  of  the  Soul,"  noting  that   Bardaisan  had 
Parsi  affinities. 


Whoever  gives  anything  to  the  disciples  of  Zaratust, 
his  reward  and  recompense  are  just  as  though  the  thing 
had  been  given  by  him  to  Zaratust. 

From  the  same  book  (p.  266)  we  may  quote  for  its 
resemblance  to  many  Biblical  passages, 

Let  no  one  practise  ill-perpetrated  deeds,  even  though 
in  a  wilderness  when  far  from  publicity,  nor  in  distress, 
O  Spitaman  !  because  Auharmazd,  the  observer  of  every 
thing,  is  aware  of  them. 

In  the  Bahman  Yast  (SBE,  v.  197)  we  have  something 
like  the  story  of  Dives  and  Lazarus : 

I  have  seen  a  celebrity  with  much  wealth,  whose  soul, 
infamous  in  the  body,  was  hungry  and  jaundiced  and  in 
hell,  and  he  did  not  seem  to  me  exalted ;  and  I  saw  a 
beggar  with  no  wealth  and  helpless,  and  his  soul  was  thriv 
ing  in  paradise,  and  he  seemed  to  me  exalted. 

And  in  the  same  book   (p.    203)    there   is   a  closer 
parallel  with  Micah  76  (Matt.  1035  f.) : 

And  at  that  time,  O  Zaratust  the  Spitaman  !  all  men 
will  become  deceivers,  great  friends  will  become  of  different 
parties,  and  respect,  affection,  hope,  and  regard  for  the 
soul  will  depart  from  the  world  ;  the  affection  of  the  father 
will  depart  from  the  son  ;  and  that  of  the  brother  from  his 
brother ;  the  son-in-law  will  become  a  beggar  from  his 
father-in-law,  and  the  mother  will  be  parted  and  estranged 
from  the  daughter. 

It  will  be  allowed  that  these  parallels  have  not 
much  of  a  moral  either  way,  but  they  are  perhaps 
sufficiently  interesting  to  warrant  quoting.  There 
are  doubtless  others  to  be  found  for  the  trouble  of 
searching :  we  must  turn  to  more  important  matters. 
I  think  I  may  claim  to  have  presented  a  sufficient 
amount  of  manifestly  fortuitous  coincidence  to  justify 


an  attitude  of  great  caution  when  dependence  is 
alleged.  The  need  of  caution  is  the  more  obvious  to 
us  when  we  notice  how  far-reaching  are  the  theories 
which  have  been  built  on  the  assumption  of  this 
dependence.  It  is  perhaps  as  well  to  remember  that 
these  theories  do  not  come  from  Iranian  experts,  but 
from  scholars  whose  fame  was  achieved  in  other  fields. 
Were  we  to  count  only  the  Iranists,  we  should  even 
doubt  whether  the  Parsi  did  not  borrow  from  the 
Jew,  for  that  was  the  view  of  Darmesteter  !  And  it 
must  be  allowed  that,  however  high  is  the  authority 
of  the  protagonists  in  this  controversy,  they  have 
nearly  all  come  to  the  problem  from  another  side, 
compelled  to  take  much  at  second  hand  when  dealing 
with  Iranian  texts.  The  real  Avestan  experts  are 
very  cautious  indeed.  From  yet  another  point  of 
view  we  learn  the  same  lesson.  Nothing  impresses 
us  more  vividly,  in  prolonged  reading  of  modern 
reUgionsgeschichtlich  research,  than  the  tenuity  of 
the  resemblances  upon  which  historical  connexion  is 
often  built  up.  Boklen's  parallels  are  to  a  very  large 
extent  a  conspicuous  example  in  our  particular  field, 
though  they  are  vitiated  still  more  seriously  by 
indifference  to  the  date  of  his  Parsi  authorities,  and 
to  the  existence— often  naively  admitted— of  equally 
impressive  parallels  from  other  sources.  The  very 
thought  of  fortuitous  coincidence  seems  hardly  to 
enter  the  minds  of  many  most  learned  and  acute 
investigators.1  The  cautions  of  Prof.  Clemen,  in  his 

1  I  cannot  resist  quoting  one  extraordinary  example  touching 
the  other  side  of  the  Aryan  field.  Dr  Hugo  Gressmann,  in  his 
most  able  and  suggestive  book  on  the  origin  of  Jewish  eschatology 
(p.  305),  finds  traces  of  my  thus  in  the  statement  (Isai.  4 13)  that 


introduction  to  Primitive  Christianity  and  its  Non- 
Jewish  Sources,  are  very  sane  and  very  much  needed, 
as  is  best  shown  by  the  multitude  of  comparisons 
alleged  by  first-rate  scholars  which  he  rejects.  But 
even  among  those  which  he  accepts,  in  a  thoroughly 
tentative  way,  there  are  certainly  some  that  are  very 
doubtful.  The  new  method  needs  much  more  testing 
before  it  will  give  us  assured  results. 

Before  we  can  begin  to  examine  alleged  parallels 
between  Judaism  and  Parsism,  we  must  obviously 
ask  when  and  how  contacts  were  made.  That  the 
Northern  Israelites  were  deported  partly  to  Media 
clearly  cannot  help  us :  later  Judaism  owed  nothing 
to  the  Ten  Tribes,  whose  religious  apostasy  caused 
them  to  vanish  out  of  the  history  of  Israel.  What 
of  the  Jews  in  the  Babylonian  Exile  ?  This  question 
concerns  the  extent  to  which  they  had  any  real 
Zoroastrianism  around  them.  During  the  "  Persian 
period,"  from  the  reign  of  Darius  down  to  the  fall 
of  the  Achsemenian  house,  the  Jews  in  Palestine 
were  subject  to  Zoroastrian  kings,  as  we  see  else 
where.  The  period  that  follows  is  very  dark.  The 
Arsacide  dynasty  probably  helped  Greek  influence 
in  Judsea  ;  and  our  knowledge  of  the  conditions  is  so 
limited  that  we  can  neither  form  conclusions  of  our 
own  nor  reject  on  positive  evidence  any  conjectures 
that  ingenious  speculation  may  attempt.  What  hap- 

Cyrus  "  trod  not  the  path  with  his  feet  "  — so  he  translates,  with  a 
reference  to  Dan.  85.  It  is  to  be  regarded  as  a  trait  of  divinity, 
established  as  such  by  the  passage  in  the  Tale  of  Nala,  familiar  to 
every  beginner  in  Sanskrit,  where  the  four  gods  at  Damayanti's 
prayer  distinguish  themselves  from  their  human  rival  by  five  tests 
of  which  this  is  one.  Possibly  Gressmann  only  means  it  for  illus 


pened  during  the  Sassanian  age  does  not  concern  us. 
I  should,  however,  remind  those  who  read  detailed 
comparisons  in  the  work  of  Bousset  or  Boklen  that 
the  antiquity  of  material  to  be  found  in  the  Pahlavi 
books  is  subject  to  the  greatest  uncertainty.  We 
may  be  dealing  with  faithfully  produced  translations 
of  old  Avestan  texts  now  lost,  or  with  doctrines  of 
medieval  post-Sassanian  Parsism.  When  we  add  to 
this  the  problems  of  date  presented  by  the  material 
collected  in  the  Talmud,  it  is  clear  that  the  question 
of  interlacing  dependence  is  likely  to  be  often 
insoluble.  Happily,  I  am  able  to  pass  it  by,  and  go 
back  to  Babylon  as  the  place  of  contact,  according  to 
Bousset,  the  most  important  champion  of  the  theory 
of  Iranian  influence  on  Judaism.  It  may  be  well  to 
quote  his  summary  (Judentum,  p.  548) : 

The  place  where  Parsism  and  Judaism  came  in  contact 
was  Babylon  and  the  Babylonian  plain.  In  Babylon,  as 
we  have  said,  was  the  centre  of  Jewish  religion  after  the 
Exile.  And  there  are  many  indications  that  on  the  other 
side  Iranian  religion  had  overflowed  its  ancient  bounds  and 
pushed  its  way  far  into  the  west,  and  in  any  case  had 
attained  the  predominance  in  the  old  Babylonian  mother- 
country.  When  Alexander  the  Great  made  his  expedition 
to  Babylon,  there  met  him  in  the  front  rank  the  "  Magi " 
or  Persian  priests,  and  in  the  second  the  Chaldaeans,  the 
priests  of  the  Babylonian  religion.1  In  Greek  tradition 

1  Bousset  quotes  Quintus  Curtius,  who  gives  us  the  order  of  the 
procession  which  met  Alexander  when  he  entered  Babylon  after 
Arbela.  After  the  captain  of  the  citadel  and  the  presents  he 
jrought  came  the  Magi : — Magi  deinde  suo  more  carmen  canentes, 
lost  hos  Chaldaei  Babylom'orumque  non  vates  modo,  sed  etiam 
irtifices  cum  fidibus  sui  generis  ibant,  laudes  hi  regum  canere  soliti, 
-haldaei  siderum  motus  et  statas  vices  temporum  ostendere.  So 


Zarathushtra  (Zoroaster,  Zaratus,  etc.)  often  figures  as  an 
Assyrian  or  a  Babylonian.  This  means  that  Greek  scholars 
travelling  in  the  East  found  the  Zarathushtrian  religion 
predominant  in  the  Babylonian  plain.  In  Jewish-Christian 
tradition  the  legendary  ruler  of  Babylon,  Nimrod,  was 
identified  with  Zoroaster.  Iranian  religion  pushed  yet 
further  westwards  during  the  period  with  which  we  are 
concerned,  in  the  form  of  Mithraism,  which  was  very  closely 
related  and  sprang  from  the  same  roots.  Antiochus  of 
Commagene,  in  the  first  half  of  the  first  century  B.C.,  was 
a  Mithraist,  as  we  learn  with  certainty  from  his  famous 
epitaph.  The  religion  of  the  pirates  conquered  by  Pompey. 
who  came  mostly  from  Cilicia  and  Cyprus,  must  also  have 
been  Mithraism.  Contacts  between  Judaism  and  Iraniar 
religion  were  abundant  during  the  last  centuries  B.C.  It 
may  further  be  noted  that  the  relations  of  Judaism  to  tht 
Persian  empire  were  from  the  first  very  friendly.  To  the 
Persians  Judaism  largely  owed  its  restoration.  And  in  tht 
following  centuries  it  appears  to  have  remained  altogethe: 
unmolested  within  that  empire,  and  with  complete  freedon 
of  development. 

again  in  in.  39>  10,  Darius  sets  out  for  Issus  with  Magi  who  com' 
second  after  the  sacred  fire,  followed  by  365  youths  "  punicei 
amiculis  velati,  diebus  totius  anni  pares  numero."  My  colleagu 
Prof.  Tait  notes  for  me  the  limitations  of  Curtius,  who  depende 
too  much  on  the  rhetorical  writers  of  the  century  after  Alexander 
unless  supported  by  Arrian,  who  had  narratives  written  by  Alex 
ander's  generals,  his  facts  are  usually  viewed  with  some  distrus 
Here  one  may  say  there  is  nothing  improbable,  though  we  cannc 
prove  that  the  description  represents  conditions  older  than  th 
age  of  the  historian.  I  may  observe  that  the  detail  about  th 
365  youths  is  simply  Mithraic :  cf.  Jerome,  In  Amos,  v.  9-10  (a, 
Cumont,  Textes,  ii.  19),  where  it  is  said  that  Basilides  made  'A/3/>d£< 
supreme  god,  meaning  thereby  the  course  of  the  year,  "que 
ethnici  sub  eodem  nomine  aliarum  litterarum  vocant  M.eiOpa\> 
(Mei'0/xxs  and  'A/2pa£as  alike  have  letters  whose  numerical  vah 
totals  365.)  Prof.  Jackson  holds  that  Curtius  has  "  much  that 
truly  Persian,"  and  would  not  rule  out  the  365  youths  as  standir 
for  the  solar  year. 


The  page  which  follows  this  has  been  quoted  already 
p.  288  f.).  The  importance  of  Prof.  Bousset's  views 
m  the  subject  is  so  great  that  I  make  no  apology 
or  completing  my  transcript  of  his  summary.  He 
jroceeds  in  conclusion  (p.  550) : 

One  point,  however,  must  be  emphasised  very  specially 
here.  Judaism  came  in  contact  with  Persian  religion,  as 
we  have  already  explained,  primarily  in  Babylon.  We 
shall  have  to  conclude,  therefore,  that  the  Jews  learnt  to 
know  this  religion  not  in  its  purity  but  when  strongly 
tainted  with  Babylonian  elements.  This  mixture  of 
Babylonian  and  Persian  religion  must  in  general  be  regarded 
among  the  most  important  facts  of  the  history  of  religious 
syncretism  during  the  last  centuries  B.C.  It  must  also  have 
been  highly  significant  for  the  development  of  Judaism. 
We  must  also  conclude  that  Babylonian  religion  in  many 
respects  influenced  that  of  the  Jews  through  the  medium 
of  Parsism,  even  where  a  direct  contact  is  not  admissible. 
The  origin  of  many  ideas  which  were  influential  in  Judaism 
cannot  accordingly  be  defined  with  certainty  ;  and  we  must 
be  content  to  speak  ultimately  in  general  terms  of  "  foreign 
Oriental  elements." 

The  admission  of  Prof.  Bousset  that  Parsi  influence 
n  Judaism  must  be  restricted  to  the  period  of 
^ncretism  and  decadence  in  Parsism  has  very  great 
gnificance  for  our  problem.  Practically  it  means 
lat  Zarathushtra  himself  is  to  be  struck  out  of  the 
st  of  the  prophets  who  contributed  to  the  develop- 
icnt  of  Israel's  religion.  All  the  indications  gathered 
uring  the  course  of  these  Lectures  have  converged 
pon  a  proof  that  Zarathushtra  influenced  only  a 
nail  circle  in  the  West  during  the  period  to  which  I 
in  limiting  my  inquiry.  What  was  known  of  his 

caching  reached  the  people  living  in  Babylonia  and 



Media  only  as   the    Magi   represented   it ;    and   the 
mirror  they  held  was  indifferently  polished.     It  will 
be  an  advantage  if  at  this  point  we  stop  to  ask  what 
were  the  main  characteristics  of  Parsism  as  it  would 
be  understood  by  Jews  living  in  Babylonia  and  Media 
during  the  last  four  centuries  before  Christ.     It  had 
lost  the  very  features  which  bring  the  Gathas  nearest 
to  the  spirit  of  Israel's  prophets.    Magian  dualism  and 
ritualism  were  firmly  established.    The  Amshaspands, 
always  an  esoteric  conception,  had  not  begun  to  take 
their  place  beside  the  Yazatas  of  popular  worship.1 
The  Magi   had  popularised  the  aristocratic   divinity 
Ahura   Mazdah,   and   set   by   his    side    the    foreign 
Anahita  and  the  Aryan  but  now  syncretised  Mithra. 
A  host  of  angels  and  an  antithetic  host  of  demons 
occupied  a  prominent  place  in  the  creed.     Religious 
duties  included  the  slaying  of  (theoretically)  noxious 
animals,  the  performance  of  tedious  ceremonial  such 
as  we  find  in  large  measure  in  the  Vendidad,  and  the 
pronouncing  of  sacred  formulae  as  the  most  powerful 
of  spells.     With  the  ascendancy  of  the  Magi  came 
the   commendation    of   next-of-kin   marriages,   with ' 
which  the  religion  was  necessarily  credited,  although 
these  alien  priests  failed  in  their  long  struggle  to  get 
them  established  as  orthodox.     And  the  idea  of  im 
mortality  must   have   declined  very  much   from  it* 
strongly  ethical  character.     So  far  as  the  Magi  tool- 
it  up  at  all,  it  was  only  as  a  part  of  their  mechanical!} 
balanced  reconstruction  :  death  must  disappear  in  th> 
new  world    just    as    mountains    and    shadows  am 
dialects   and   other   unsymmetrical    things.     As  fo 
Zarathushtra,  the  Magi  claimed  him  as  one  of  them 

1  Except  in  name  :  see  p.  100  f. 


elves,1  a  great  figure  of  mythical  attributes,  a  master 
>f  magic  and  esoteric  lore.  This  picture,  drawn  from 
he  evidence  supplied  primarily  by  the  classical 
vriters,2  may  be  used  when  we  ask  how  much  the 
lews  are  likely  to  have  taken  from  Parsism.  If  the 
^arsism  they  knew  was  after  this  model,  certainly 
here  was  not  much  by  which  they  could  enrich  their 
>wn  religious  treasury. 

The  Talmud  states  that  the  Jews  "brought  the 
tames  of  the  angels  from  Babylon,"  which  tallies 
vith  the  obvious  contrast  between  the  pre-exilic 
ngelology  and  the  detailed  and  ordered  hierarchies 
if  later  Judaism.  This  elaborated  doctrine  of  angels 
,nd  spirits  was  an  unmistakably  new  thing,  as  is 
hown  by  the  refusal  of  the  conservative  Sadducees 
o  accept  it.3  I  see  no  a  priori  reason  for  denying 
he  possibility  that  Persian  (that  is,  Magian)  influence 
astered  the  growth  of  this  quasi-animistic  angelology. 
t  was  never  in  the  main  stream  of  Jewish  theology, 
'aul's  attitude  towards  it  is  very  suggestive.  Meet- 
ig  something  essentially  of  the  same  kind  at  Colossas, 
e  took  no  trouble  to  endorse  or  deny  its  truth, 
•peculation  about  angels  was  for  him  purely  idle,  and 
/orship  of  angels  debased  superstition :  the  only 

1  Rightly,  as  Prof.  Jackson  still  thinks.     On  this  subject  see  my 
;marks  above,  p.  197  f. 

2  "But    I    believe    it   to    be    fairly   true,    if  you    compare    the 
luhammadan  writers  of  later  times/'  writes  Prof.  Jackson.     Does 
ot  their  date  alone  make  testimony  on  such  matters  almost  value- 
•ss  ?     But  I  need  not  repeat  with  how  much  diffidence  I  venture 

view  of  Zarathushtra  and  the  Magi  which  differs  seriously  from 
lat  of  such  an  authority  as  my  friend.  I  have  stated  my  reasons 
sewhere,  and  must  leave  my  theories  to  sink  or  swim. 

3  Acts  238. 


thing  that  mattered  was  our  direct  relations  with  a 
Being  infinitely  high  above  all  angelic  hosts.  If  we 
are  concerned  with  the  question  whether  the  later 
Judaism  developed  its  own  new  world  of  spirits,  or 
derived  it  wholly  or  partially  from  an  external  source, 
it  seems  enough  to  say  that  there  was  a  system  not 
unlike  their  own  in  the  environment  of  the  Jews  of 
the  post-exilic  period ;  and  that,  if  the  specialists  in 
Old  Testament  theology  find  the  later  developments 
inexplicable  by  native  growth,  there  is  a  possible  vera 
causa  in  Magianism.  I  do  not  presume  to  decide  the 
question,  and  I  confess  it  seems  to  me  to  have 
singularly  little  importance. 

One  kind  of  "  angel "  who  plays  a  small  but  not 
trifling  part  in  Jewish  angelology  is  very  much  like 
the  Fravashi  or  "  double,"  which  formed  the  subject 
of  Lecture  VIII.     Is  there  dependence  here?    Th( 
link  would  be  easy  to  make,  for,  as  we  have  seen,  the 
Fravashi  concept  on  both  its  sides  is  no  part  of  Zara 
thushtra's  system,  but  belongs  partly  to  the  ancestor 
worship  of  primitive  Aryan  religion,  and  partly  to  ; 
belief  in  a  kind  of  External  Soul,  which  may  belong 
to  Iranian  or  to  Magian  doctrine.     This  had  its  hom< 
in  the   countries  which  Jews  knew  well  during  th< 
Exile.      The     conception     accounts     primarily    fo 
Matt.  1810  and  Acts  1215.     The  "angel"  of  the  litti 
child,  who  has  not  learned  to  sin,  stands  in  the  ver 
presence  of  God.    Jesus  then  gives  emphatic  endorse 
ment  to  an  idea  the  history  of  which  may  have  starte 
far  away.     And   the  company  in  Mary's  house  ar 
ready  to  assume  that  the  "double"  of  the  Apostl 
for  whom  they  had  met  to  pray  was  standing  outsid 
the  door.     These  two  passages  seem  to  be  explicabl 


by  the  presence  of  a  belief  in  angels  very  much  like 
the  Fravashis  on  the  side  which  was  independent  of 
ancestor-worship.  The  same  may  be  said  of  the 
;'  princes  "  of  the  nations  in  Daniel  and  the  Talmud, 
and  the  "angels  of  the  Churches"  in  Rev.  2-3. 
These  Fravashis  of  communities  answer  very  well  to 
Avestan  conceptions.  Inasmuch  as  there  seems  to 
be  nothing  in  Israel's  native  angelology  to  prompt 
such  a  development,  it  is  not  unreasonable  to  suspect 
a  real  foreign  influence  here.1 

Much  more  serious  is  the  question  whether  foreign 
nfluence  affected  Jewish  demonology.  Here  I  put 
DII  one  side  the  popular  belief  by  which  demons  took 
n  relation  to  disease  very  much  the  position  that 
nicrobes  take  for  us.2  There  is  no  reason  for  recognis- 
ng  Persian  influence  of  any  kind  here,  though  there 
ire  some  similarities  in  Persian  as  in  other  religious 
;ystems.  What  concerns  me  more  is  the  possibility 
.hat  the  Magian  Ahriman  explains  the  Jewish  Satan. 
it  is  fairly  pointed  out  that  the  idea  of  attributing 
;vil,  moral  as  well  as  physical,  to  the  agency  of  a 
pirit  antagonistic  to  God  is  late  in  Jewish  thought. 
)ne  thinks  at  once  of  the  Chronicler's  assigning  to  a 
emptation  of  Satan  what  the  earlier  writer  attributed 
o  Yahweh.3  Now  if  we  content  ourselves  with  saying 
hat  in  post-exilic  times  the  Jews  knew  of  a  (Magian) 
heory  whereby  evil  came  from  a  power  hostile  to  God, 

1  For  a  discussion  of  Biblical  passages  involved,  see  my  paper 

It  is  his  Angel"  in  Journal  of  Theological  Studies,  1902,  p.  514  ff.  : 
Iso  above,  p.  274. 

2  Prof.  Jackson  remarks  that  a  Zoroastrian  priest  said  the  same 
)  him  years  ago. 

3  2  Sam.  241,  1  Chron.  2 11. 


we  may  account  for  the  phenomena  by  assuming  that 
it  fructified  in  their  minds  and  helped  their  thinkers 
to  their  solution  of  the  great  problem.    But  the  de 
velopment  of  the  Hebrew  Satan  is  perfectly  clear,  and 
wholly  different  from  that  of  the  Magian  Ahriman.    I 
have  already  referred  to  these  differences,  and  will  only 
now  express  the  belief  that  a  hint  was  given  and  used, 
but  used  in  a  wholly  original  and  characteristic  way. 
A  more  hopeful  field  for  the  discovery  of  genuine 
Persian  influence  lies  in  Apocalyptic.     We  have  seen 
that  Zarathushtra  was  really  the  earliest  apocalyptic 
thinker ;  and  (what  is  more  important  for  our  pur 
pose)  he  was   mostly  known  to  after   ages  in  this 
character.     Now  almost  the  only  resemblances  that 
powerfully  strike  us,  by  their  number  and  their  exact 
ness  alike,  are  found  in  the  imagery  of  Apocalyptic : 
not  the   substance,   or  the   religious  ideas   that  the 
literature  conveys,  but  the  machinery  and  the  formula 
show  sometimes  a  likeness  which  we  cannot  easily 
regard  as  accidental,  the  cumulative  effect  of  man) 
coincidences    being    considered.      Several    of  then 
affect    the   Johannine    Apocalypse.      There    is    the 
final  unchaining  of  Azi  Dahaka,  the   Old  Serpent 
which   prepares   for   his    final   destruction,    and  th( 
detail  that  he  swallows  the  third  part  of  men  anc 
beasts : l  cf.  Rev.  202>  7-10,  8M2,  915.     Then  there  is  th( 
falling  of  the   great   star  Gocihar   upon  the  earth 
which  strongly  suggests  Rev.  810.     It  may  be  said 
of    course,   that    these   are   only   from   the   Bunda 
hish,    and   that   there   are    possibilities   of    lateness 
But,  as  Prof.  Jackson  notes,  the  general  antiquity  o 

1  Soderblom,  La  Fie' Future,  p.  258  f.     Clemen,  Primitive  Christianity 
p.  137  (E.T.). 


the  Bundahish,  as  based  on  the  Damdat  Nask,  and 
confirmed  in  important  respects  by  Plutarch,  justifies 
us  in  depending  on  it :  we  remember  also  how 
independent  astronomical  tests  have  assigned  it  an 
epoch  as  early  as  40  A.D.1  An  Avestan  guarantee  is 
available  for  the  parallel  between  Yima's  Var  and  the 
Jerusalem  of  Rev.  21. 2  More  important  is  the 
mention  in  Rev.  I4  of  "  the  seven  Spirits  which  are 
before  [God's]  throne."  This  answers  closely  to  the 
form  of  the  Amshaspand  doctrine  in  which  the 
number  seven  is  made  up  without  including  Ahura 
Mazdah :  and  it  is  significant  that  the  same  form 
appears  in  Tobit,  which  we  find  to  be  based  largely 
on  Magian  folk -story.  Extra- canonical  works  like 
Enoch  supply  a  larger  fund  of  parallels.  A  quotation 
from  Clemen's  summary  will  put  in  short  compass 
the  points  in  which  an  acute  outside  observer  of 
Parsism  thinks  the  imagery  of  Jewish- Christian 
apocalyptic  traceable  to  this  outside  source : 3 

The  idea  of  the  Son  of  Man  comes  ultimately  from 
Parsism,4  and  the  speculation  in  this  system  regarding  the 
Primal  Man 5  probably  lurks  behind  such  passages  as  1  Cor. 
1545  ff.  and  Phil.  26  f.  But,  more  important  than  this,  the 
expectation  of  a  future  triumph  over  the  devil,6  of  a 

1  See  above,  p.  26  f. 

2  Seep.  308,  and  ERPP,  156. 

2  Primitive  Christianity,  368  (E.T.). 

4  P.  154-6.     None  of  the  evidence  is  early,  and  at  the  most  can 
only  affect  externals. 

5  Ib.     The    extent  to    which   Yima  and   Adam  approximate  is 
indicated  above. 

6  P.  160.     This  point,  as  far  as  imagery  goes,  was  admitted  above. 
There  is  not  the  slightest  reason  to  assert  a  historical  connexion 
between  the  two  religions  in  their  optimist  outlook  as  a  whole  : 
cf.  p.  155  f.  above. 


universal  conflagration,  of  a  new  heaven  and  a  new  earth, 
as  well  as  of  the  destiny  of  the  blessed,  agrees  so  fully  with 
Mazdeism  even  in  details,  that  here  again  the  influence  of 
this  system  must  be  admitted.1  And  so,  too,  the  Mazdean 
belief,  that  the  soul  traverses  a  series  of  heavens,2  has 
probably  influenced  2  Cor.  122  ff.,  perhaps  also  Heb.  4W, 
1  Tim.  316,  and  particularly  Jude 9 — just  as  the  Mazdean 
comparison  of  the  resurrection  body  with  a  new  heavenly 
garment  has  influenced  the  corresponding  passages  in  Paul's 
Epistles  (2  Cor.  51  if.)  and  the  Apocalypse.3 

I  might  add  to  these  the  very  ingenious  but  hardly 
convincing  comparison  of  Rev.  I13  with  the  "  high- 
girt"  Vayu  of  Yt  1554  (and  Anahita  in  Yt  564)  by 
Dr  James  Moffatt  (Expositors  Greek  Testament, 
in  /oc.).4  How  far  we  may  accept  Prof.  Clemen's 
comparisons  will  appear  from  the  notes  below. 
I  only  remark  further  that  the  atmosphere  of 
Jewish  and  Parsi  apocalyptic  is  sufficiently  alike 
to  make  us  ready  to  believe  in  a  real  connexion. 
Just  as  the  Jews  picked  up  and  adapted  an  unmistak 
ably  Iranian  story  like  Tobit,  they  may  very  well 
have  used  the  figures  and  imagery  of  Magianism  for 
their  national  vision-literature.  It  is  far  from  easy 
to  prove  conclusively  that  they  really  did  so,  but 

1  The  final  conflagration  differs  in  the  most  important  feature  of 
its  imagery — where   is  the   molten    metal  in  Judaism,    except  (in 
significantly  enough)  in  Enoch  ? 

2  P.  171  f.,  depending  mainly  on  Bousset.     The  three  stages  of 
the  ascent  to  Garonmdna  in  the  Hadhokht  Nask  (Yt  2215)  are  the 
best  evidence  of  this  idea  in  Parsism.     I  should  not  object  to  it. 
And  yet,  was  not  a  Jew  bound  to  be  influenced  by  his  own  language, 
in  which  "heaven  "  is  plural  ?     Must  we  go  further  afield  ? 

3  P.  174.     But  the  one  Avestan  passage  quoted  (Ys  552)  only  says 
that  the   Gathas   are   like   food   and    clothing  !      The    Bundahish 
passage  is  equally  distant  from  the  point. 

4  Clemen  rejects  this  (p.  154). 


it   remains   on   the   whole   probable.      The   debt,   if 
acknowledged,  is  small  enough. 

The  greatest  innovation  of  post-exilic  Judaism  was, 
of  course,  the  doctrine  of  Immortality.  Here  again 
the  stimulus  of  Parsism  has  been  freely  assumed. 
But  if  my  thesis  is  right,  the  immortality  doctrine 
of  Magians  in  contact  with  Israel  was  very  different 
from  Zarathushtra's  teaching.  The  bare  fact  that 
the  Persians  believed  death  would  at  last  be  abolished 
was  not  a  very  powerful  encouragement  to  Jewish 
*  hinkers  in  their  great  venture ;  though  I  would 
not  deny  that  it  may  have  contributed  something. 
The  real  lesson  lies  much  deeper,  and  with  it  we 
may  close,  making  no  attempt  to  pursue  paral 
lels  which  only  become  numerous  or  detailed  in  a 
period  outside  our  limits.  Zarathushtra's  doctrine  of 
Immortality  rested  on  a  pure  and  passionate  belief 
in  the  justice  of  God.  Successors  endowed  with  his 
spirit  might  have  developed  a  serious  theology  recog 
nising  adequately  the  fact  of  sin  and  the  need  of 
deliverance.  But  the  successors  never  came.  Zara- 
thushtra  is  a  lonely  figure,  and  the  mere  fact  that 
Israel  has  a  "  goodly  fellowship  "  of  prophets  to  set 
against  his  solitariness  is  quite  enough  to  explain  the 
sequel.  We  might  compare  him  with  individuals  in 
the  long  line  and  gladly  count  him  worthy  to  stand 
among  the  greatest  of  them.  But  had  he  stood  out 
above  them  all,  he  could  not  have  prepared  for  the 
establishment  of  a  world  religion.  It  was  Carthage 
that  accounted  for  the  failure  of  Hannibal :  it  was 
Iran  that  made  Zarathushtra  a  voice  of  one  crying 
in  the  wilderness  where  but  few  could  hear.  The 
interpreters  of  Zarathushtra  busied  themselves  with 


explaining  the  world  where  they  should  have  tried 
to  save  it ; l  they  spent  in  dreams  about  its  future 
blessedness  the  energy  that  might  have  produced  a 
diagnosis  of  its  deepest  needs,  and  some  contribution 
towards  their  satisfaction.  The  result  was  a  shallow 
optimism  from  which  any  real  understanding  of 
Zarathushtra  himself  might  have  saved  them.  The 
very  devil  against  whom  they  fought  was  a  poor  sort 
of  demon  after  all,  contending  with  plenty  of  noise 
but  with  no  sort  of  success :  he  could  be  conquered 
by  muttering  a  Gatha  and  killing  some  frogs.  And 
Evil  is  a  greater  and  more  fearful  fact  than  anything 
represented  in  the  Magian  Ahriman.  The  shadows 
were  not  dark  enough  because  the  light  had  grown 
dim  since  Zarathushtra's  day.  I  am  loth  to  criticise 
the  Magi,  for  I  regard  them  as  worthy  of  high  respect. 
On  a  far  lower  plane  than  their  Prophet,  they  stand 
far  above  most  other  teachers  of  their  day  ;  and  I  hope 
I  have  made  clear  the  preciousness  of  their  gift  when 
they  came  to  Saoshyant  with  gold  and  frankincense 
and  myrrh.  Yet  at  best  their  myrrh  was  but  an 
anodyne  for  a  sickness  that  called  for  stern  surgery. 
The  King  of  the  Jews  had  no  use  for  it  when  He 
came  to  the  supreme  task.  He  promised  Paradise 
with  dying  breath  to  a  forgiven  sinner,  and  the  word 
came  from  Persia.2  But  Persia,  even  in  Zarathushtra's 
own  doctrine,  could  not  fathom  the  depths  of  truth 

1  Here  again  Prof.  Jackson  would  enter  a  plea  for  the  "  energy  " 
of  the   Magi.       He  also  queries  my   estimate   of   Ahriman  as  an 
<f  ineffectual  angel  "  of  darkness. 

2  Av.    pairidaeza    (*irfptTOLxo<;),    "walled    enclosure/'    hence    (in 
Persian)  "park."     It  is  curious  to  compare  the  conspicuousness  of 
the  encircling  wall  in  Milton's  picture  of  Eden. 


which  that  word  was  taught  to  convey.  It  was  great 
to  realise  a  theodicy,  to  be  assured  that  the  wrongs 
of  life  will  be  righted  for  ever  by  a  Divine  Judge 
who  will  deal  justly  with  all.  But  Israel  learnt  a 
profounder  lesson  still.  For  the  immortality  towards 
which  Jewish  thought  tardily  struggled,  in  days 
when  earthly  happiness  and  prosperity  had  fled,  was 
more  precious  even  than  the  assurance  that  the  Judge 
of  all  the  earth  would  do  right.  It  was  developed 
through  the  ever-deepening  sense  of  fellowship  with 
a  God  who  is  love,  and  who  cannot  suffer  the  child  of 
His  tender  mercy  to  pass  into  nothingness.  It  is  not 
strange  that  the  deeper  doctrine  came  so  much  later 
to  mankind.  It  was  worth  waiting  for.  He  was 
great  who  taught  men  faith  in  God's  ultimate  justice, 
even  though  to-day  only  a  handful  of  believers  guard 
his  sacred  fire.  They  were  greater  who  led  men  from 
a  Judge  to  a  Father,  and  prepared  for  the  revelation 
of  a  love  that  shall  win  the  world. 


THE  hypothetical  reconstruction  referred  to  in 
Lecture  VII.  ad  fin.  is  transferred  to  the  more 
modest  position  of  an  appendix,  lest  incautious 
readers  should  fancy  either  that  I  am  giving  them 
a  scientifically  restored  document  or  that  I  seek 
for  laurels  in  the  unfamiliar  field  of  fiction.  My 
story  is  only  a  vehicle  for  points  which  can  be 
more  easily  exhibited  in  this  form.  I  need  only 
observe  by  way  of  preface  that  the  names  are 
chosen  from  Old  Persian,  mostly  at  random,  and 
Avestan  words  translated  into  that  dialect,  on  the 
assumption  that  the  story  was  thus  current.  It 
might  of  course  have  circulated  in  one  of  the 
other  languages  used  in  Media.  The  specimens 
of  Magian  wisdom  which  I  have  put  in  the  mouth 
of  the  old  man,  the  hero's  father,  I  have  selected 
often  on  Pahlavi  evidence  alone,  and  I  must  enter 
a  preliminary  caveat  against  assuming  that  Magian 
teachers  really  used  such  language  at  the  date 
when  this  tale  may  be  supposed  to  have  originated. 
I  claim  no  more  for  them  than  that  since  Parsi 
priests  some  centuries  later  credited  them  to 
antiquity,  and  they  are  in  keeping  with  the  system 
established  by  research,  we  may  plausibly  assume 


THE   MAGIAN   MATERIAL   OF    TOBIT        333 

the   Magian   origin   of  these   as   of  other   elements 
actually  found  in  our  Jewish  Book. 

I  proceed,  then,  to  tell  my  Median  folk-tale,  which 
we  will  call 


It  came  to  pass  in  the  olden  time,  when  Azhi 
Dahaka  overran  the  land  of  Media,1  that  Vahauka 
and  his  son  Vahyazdata 2  gained  great  merit  by  their 
zeal  for  the  Religion.  For  that  accursed  Daiva- 
worshipper  slew  by  tens  and  by  hundreds  the 
righteous3  of  the  land,  and  cast  forth  their  dead 
bodies  to  defile  the  earth  and  the  pure  waters.  Then 
did  Vahauka  and  his  son  go  forth  together,  as  the 
Law  ordains,  and  with  them  the  four-eyed  dog  that 
makes  the  corpse-fiend 4  to  flee  ;  and  when  they  saw 
the  body  of  a  righteous  man,  they  carried  it  to 
the  top  of  a  hill,  and  fastened  it  down  there  where 

1  Tob.    1 18  ;   Yt  529  (which  connects  him  with  Babylon :    above, 
p.  245).     The  tyrant  has  not  yet  become  a  serpent. 

2  Two  names  from  Behistan,  containing  the  adj.  vahu,  "  good," 
as  Tobit  and  Tobias  contain  210. 

3  I.e.  asavano. 

4  It  was  deadly  sin  to  do  it  alone  (Vd  3U).     The  Sag-did  ("glance 
of  the  dog,"  which  must  have  two  spots  above  the  eyes)  expels  the 
Nasu  ( =  VEKUS).     If  a  dakhma  was  not  available,  the  summit  of  a 
hill  would  do  (Vd  645) ;  see  the  context  there  (644"51).     It  may  be 
noted  that  the  "four-eyed  dog"  appears  in  the  Rgveda  (x.  1410, 
sarameyau  pvanau  caturaksau),  so  that  the  Magi  got  this  congenial 
item  from  Aryan  sources.     The  dogs  that  guard  the  Bridge  (Vd 
139,  1930)  are  also  apparently  Aryan.      If  the   ethnic  affinities  of 
the  Magi  were  with  the  nomad  Iranians,  this  is  quite  natural.     By 
"  nomad  Iranians,"  however,  I  do  not  mean  necessarily  tribes  of  the 
same  blood  as  the  Northern  invaders  who  brought  Iranian  speech ; 
aboriginals  Aryanised  in  language  only  will  suit  the  conditions,  if 
these  aboriginals  had  kin  in  India. 


the  flesh-eating  birds  might  devour  him.  And  they 
consecrated  the  corpse- cakes  and  partook  of  them,1 
nigh  to  the  place  where  they  laid  the  bones  in  sight 
of  the  sun,  when  the  birds  had  devoured  the  flesh.2 
And  as  they  went  upon  the  work  they  said  aloud 
victorious  words,  even  those  that  are  most  fiend- 
smiting.  So  they  did  many  days.  And  one  day  it 
befel  that  as  they  sat  down  to  meat,  and  had  not 
yet  begun  to  eat,  one  brought  them  word  that  the 
corpse  of  a  faithful  man  lay  on  the  earth  beside  their 
door.  And  they  left  their  meal,  and  went  and  put 
the  corpse  in  a  small  chamber,3  for  it  was  near  night 
fall,  and  they  could  not  carry  it  away.  Then  they 
returned  and  washed  themselves  with  gomcz?  and  ate 
meat  in  heaviness.  Now,  as  Vahauka  and  his  son 
thus  did  the  works  of  Righteousness,  the  demons 
gathered  together  against  them  ;  and  as  Vahauka  lay 
sleeping  that  night  in  his  courtyard,  being  polluted, 

1  I  have  brought  in  the  "  corpse-cake  "  here  because  of  Tob.  417, 
which  Kohut  interpreted  by  reference  to  the  dron,  a  small  round 
cake,  consecrated  and  eaten  in  honour  of  the  dead :    see  West  in 
SEE,  v.  283  f.,  and  Darmesteter  in  SEE,  iv.2  57.     It  must  be  noted, 
however,    that    Bartholomae    (AirWb,    770)    questions    the    corre 
spondence  of  the  Avestan  draonah  with  this  M.P.  ritual  dron.     On 
the  corpse-cake  in   general    see  Hartland,  Legend  of  Perseus,  ii. 

2  The   rich   were   to   use   regular   ossuaries    (astodan) :    see    Vd 
650  f.  and  Darmesteter's  notes.     Cf.  also  Casartelli  in  Babyl.  and 
Oriental  Record  for  June    1890,    and  J.    J.    Modi,    Anthropological 
Papers,  p.  7. 

3  Tob.  24 ;  cf.  Vd  510  ff.,  on  the  rooms  for  temporary  reception 
of  a  corpse. 

4  Vd  811'13;  cf.  Tob.  25-9.      Vd  837  ff.  shows  that  the  cleansing 
might  be  complex,  if  the  sag-did  had  not  been  performed.     So  if 
Vahauka  had  not  had  time  to  complete  the  ceremony,  he  would  be 
unclean  overnight. 

THE   MAGIAN   MATERIAL  OF    TOBIT        335 

they  dropped  evil  charms  upon  his  eyes,  and  he  was 
made  blind. 

Now  before  all  this  came  to  pass,  Vahauka  had 
left  in  pledge  much  gold  at  the  house  of  one  Gaubaruva 
in  Raga  of  Media  ;  and  for  fear  of  Azhi  Dahaka,  the 
servant  of  the  Lie,  he  could  not  go  to  claim  it.  And 
his  wealth  was  diminished  by  much  almsgiving,  and 
by  oppression  of  the  evil  king ;  nor  could  he,  being 
blind,  increase  his  substance.  So  as  the  roads  were 
now  safe,  he  bethought  him  of  his  gold,  and  that 
Vahyazdata  his  son  should  go  to  Raga  to  claim  it 
again.  And  Vahyazdata  was  right  glad  to  go,  but 
first  he  went  to  seek  a  travelling  companion.  But 
even  as  he  went,  there  came  to  meet  him  a  young 
man,  who  said  to  him  that  he  was  one  of  his  clan, 
and  that  he  knew  the  road  to  Raga,  and  the  house 
of  Gaubaruva  therein.  So  Vahyazdata  brought  the 
young  man  to  his  father,  and  he  covenanted  to  pay 
him  wages.  But  before  they  went  on  their  journey, 
Vahauka  called  his  son  and  counselled  him  thus : 

"  My  son,  to  obtain  the  costly  things  of  bodily  life, 
never  forsake  the  spiritual  life.  For  Righteousness 
obtaineth  everything  good.  One  may  not  have  at 
wish  the  power  of  a  head  of  house,  of  community,  of 
clan,  of  province,  or  authority  over  brethren,  or  well- 
built  frame  and  well-developed  stature.  But  that 
desire  may  be  with  every  man  in  this  bodily  life,  that 
he  should  be  most  desirous  of  Righteousness.1 

"  Seek  thou,  my  son,  a  store  of  good  deeds,  for 
this  is  full  of  salvation.  The  ox  turns  to  dust,  the 
horse  to  dust,  silver  and  gold  to  dust,  the  valiant 

1  Cf.  so  far  the  fragments  published  by  Darmesteter,  SEE,  iv.2 
295,  w.  90,  94,  95-98  :  Tob.  45~6. 


strong  man  to  dust,  the  bodies  of  all  men  mingle 
with  the  dust.  What  do  not  mingle  with  the  dust 
are  the  confession  that  a  man  recites  in  this  world, 
and  his  almsgiving  to  the  holy  and  righteous.1  For 
they  shall  partake  of  the  vision  of  the  Best  Life 2  who 
most  give  alms  to  the  righteous  and  most  care  for 
them.  He  that  gives  to  a  lover  of  the  Lie  despises 
Righteousness  by  his  giving. 

"  Understand  fully,  my  son,  what  is  well  done  and 
not  well  done,  and  do  not  to  others  all  that  which 
is  not  well  for  thyself.3 

"  My  son,  thy  mother  and  I  are  old,  and  it  may  be 
that  we  shall  not  long  remain  in  this  bodily  existence. 
When  we  die,  see  I  pray  thee  that  the  rite  is  done 
to  our  bodies  according  to  the  Law.  And  for  thyself 
take  a  wife  of  the  seed  of  thy  fathers,  and  take  not 

1  Here  I  simply  appropriate  Darmesteter,  SEE,  iv.2  383,  q.v.,  for 
his    sources.       What  follows  is   from  the  fragments  just   quoted, 
p.  297  of  the  same  volume.     Cf.  Tob.  47~n,  and  17. 

2  The  allusion  to  the  "Best  Life  "  is  taken  from  Magian  writing 
of  a  later  time,  when  they  had  accepted  Zarathushtra's  teaching. 
It  seemed  best  to  leave  it  undisturbed. 

3  Tob.  414~15.     The  Parsi  precepts  are  from  Shdyast-ld-shdyasl  in 
SEE,  v.  363.     There  is  nothing  to  prove  antiquity  about  the  "  five 
accomplishments  owing  to  religion,''  of  which  I  have  selected  two 
above.    The  Pahlavi  treatise  is  conjecturally  assigned  by  West  to  the 
seventh  century  A.D.  (op.  cit.,  p.  Ixv),  but  he  notes  that  it  was  mostly 
a  compilation  from  far  older  writing.     It  refers  to  Christians  and 
Jews  (p.  297),  and  of  course  may  have  borrowed  this  negative  Golden 
Rule  from  Tobit  or  Hillel,  as  far  as  date  goes.  But  it  is  at  least  possible 
that  the  material  here  is  old,  and  it  may  fairly  go  into  this  recon 
struction.   The  precept  concerning  almsgiving  has  Avestan  authority. 
In  Vd  1 837  ff.  we  read  that  the  refuser  of  alms  to  one  of  the  faith 
ful  is  the  most  prolific  father  of  the  offspring  of  the  Druj.     To  give 
unasked,  to  one  of  the  faithful,  even  the  smallest  gift,  is  the  way  of 
destroying  this  accursed  progeny. 

THE   MAGIAN   MATERIAL   OF    TOBIT        337 

i  strange  wife,  which  is  not  of  thy  father's  kin.  For 
ve  are  children  of  those  who  have  kept  the  holy  law. 
jreat  is  the  perfection  of  the  next-of-kin  marriage." l 
So  when  Vahauka  had  made  an  end  of  counselling 
lis  son,  he  sent  him  away  with  his  blessing,  but  his 
nother  wept  as  he  departed.  And  Vahyazdata  and 
lis  companion,  whose  name  was  Fravartish,  came  at 
ventide  to  the  Tigris,  and  the  young  man  went 
[own  to  bathe.  But  a  fish  demon  leaped  up  and 
ried  to  swallow  him.  Then  Fravartish  bade  him 
urn  and  seize  the  fish,  and  he  dragged  it  out  upon 
ry  land.  This  done,  he  told  him  that  he  should  cut 
ut  its  heart  and  liver  and  gall,  which  they  took  with 
hem.  So  at  length  they  drew  nigh  unto  Raga, 
/here  Fravartish  took  Vahyazdata  to  the  house  of 
raumisa,  who  was  his  father's  brother.  Now  Vaumisa 
ad  a  beautiful  daughter,  named  Utausa,  against 
rhom  Aishma  the  Daiva  of  the  murderous  spear  had 
iged  cruelly ;  for  he  had  slain  seven  husbands  of 
ers  in  the  bridal  chamber.  But  Fravartish  told 
rahyazdata  that  Utausa  was  his  kin,  whom  he  was 
estined  to  wed  in  accordance  with  the  holy  Law ; 

1  I  have  used  the  words  of  Tob.  412  as  they  stand,  and  combined 
;em  with  a  sentence  from  the  Dinkart,  ix.  385  (SEE,  xxxvii.  273), 
hich  professes  to  describe  a  fargard  of  the  Varstmansar  Nask  of 
e  Avesta.  How  far  the  Avesta  was  really  responsible  for  the 
kvetukdas  is  discussed  elsewhere  (p.  206  f.).  Marriage  within  the 
n,  if  understood  to  imply  cousins,  is  very  probably  latent  in  Tobit, 
id  may  be  safely  assumed  for  its  Grundnchrift.  Note  how  Abraham, 
ho  married  his  half-sister,  is  expressly  named  as  an  example 
Jen.  2012).  Rebekah  was  Isaac's  first  cousin  once  removed  (Gen. 
!23) ;  Jacob  married  his  first  cousins.  Noah,  the  first  example 
,med  by  Tobit,  has  in  Genesis  no  stated  relationship  towards 
s  wife.  Tobias  was  Sarah's  first  cousin  (Tob.  72),  if  we  take 
erally  the  dSeA<£<S  of  X  :  the  B  recension  corrected  it  to  dvei/riw. 



and  he  promised  him  that  he  should  overcome  the 
demon.  And  so  it  fell,  for  when  Vaumisa  knew  that 
Vahyazdata  was  his  brother's  son  he  gladly  gave  him 
his  daughter  to  wife.  But  the  young  man  took  the 
fish-demon's  heart  and  liver  with  him  into  the  bridal 
chamber,  where  he  offered  it  unto  the  sacred  Fire. 
And  A  tar  the  son  of  Auramazda  was  well  pleased 
therewith  ;  and  by  the  smell  of  that  enchantment  he 
drove  away  Aishma  the  Daiva ;  who  forthwith  fled 
into  Mazana,  where  the  demons  dwell,  and  there 
Srausha  bound  him  fast.  And  all  the  household 
of  Vaumisa  rejoiced  that  Utausa  had  been  affianced 
to  the  husband  destined  for  her,  and  that  the  demon 
had  been  driven  away.1 

So  when  the  wedding  feast  was  over,  Vahyazdata 
prepared  to  take  his  wife  home  to  his  father's  house. 
He  asked  Fravartish  to  go  for  him  to  Gaubaruva  and 
bring  back  the  gold  ;  and  when  he  returned  with  the 
same  they  started  together  on  their  journey.  Wher 
they  drew  near  to  the  place,  Fravartish  bade 
Vahyazdata  go  forward  with  him,  while  Utausa  came 

1  For  the  spell  used,  see  the  note  below  on  the  further  use  mack 
of  the  appurtenances  of  the  fish.  In  Tobit  the  demon  flees  ets  T< 
avwrara  AiyvTrrov  (83  B)  or  ai/<o  ets  TO,  p.fpr]  Atyurrrou  (X).  Kohu 
suggested  that  the  original  was  Mazindaran,  which  a  popular  mis 
reading  turned  into  D^I^D  =  AiyuTiTos.  The  ^*  instead  of  T  seemed  . 
difficulty  to  Noldeke,  but  it  hardly  looks  like  a  fatal  obstacle.  Th< 
mountain  is  suggested  by  avo>  (^),  which  is  more  original.  For  Sraosh 
binding  him  we  may  compare  Thraetaona  binding  Azhi  Dahaka  01 
Mt.  Dimavend  in  Mazindaran  (SEE,  v.  1 19).  Sraosha  is  the  sped; 
antagonist  of  Aeshma.  It  should  be  added  that  a  good  parallel  fo 
the  spell  is  quoted  by  Robertson  Smith  from  Kazwini  (i.  132)  :  "  Th 
smell  of  the  smoke  of  a  crocodile's  liver  cures  epilepsy,  and  that  c 
its  dung  and  gall  cure  leucoma,  which  was  the  cause  of  Tobit 
blindness."  I  owe  the  quotation  to  the  Rev.  D.  C.  Simpson. 

THE   MAGIAN   MATERIAL   OF    TOBIT        339 

on  with  her  maidens ;  and  they  took  the  dog  still 
with  them,  for  they  feared  lest  Vahauka  might  be 
dead.  But  when  they  saw  the  old  man  afar  off, 
Fravartish  told  the  young  man  to  take  the  gall  of  the 
fish-demon  in  his  hand  and  strike  it  in  his  father's 
eyes  when  he  kissed  him.  And  as  soon  as  he  had 
done  this,  the  enchantment  was  destroyed,  and  the 
old  man  saw  his  son  plainly  with  great  rejoicing.1 

But  now  that  Vahyazdata  was  at  home  again,  the 
time  had  come  for  his  travelling  companion  to  depart. 
So  Vahauka  called  him,  and  gave  him  hearty  thanks 
for  all  the  service  he  had  rendered  ;  and  he  offered  him 
half  of  all  that  his  son  had  brought  from  Raga.  But 
he  said,  "  I  am  not  a  mortal  of  this  bodily  existence, 
but  a  spirit  from  the  abode  of  Auramazda.  Dost  thou 
remember  when  thou  and  thy  son  did  rise  from  eating 
to  take  up  from  the  sacred  earth  the  corpse  of  a 
faithful  man  ?  Lo  I  am  that  man's  angel,2  and 
I  dwell  with  the  seven  Immortal  Holy  Ones3  in 
the  abode  of  Auramazda.  Howbeit  I  came  down 
in  the  form  of  that  faithful  man  to  bring  thee 
recompense  for  thy  good  deed  and  that  of  thy  son. 
But  now  I  return  again  whence  I  came.  So  bless  ye 
continually  Auramazda  and  all  the  Bagdha  who  are 

1  The  spell  is  almost  identical  with  that  by  which  Rustem  in  the 
Shah  Navneh  (vol.  i.  pp.  256,  260)  restores  sight  to  King  Kaiis  and 
lis  warriors,  blinded  by  the  enchantments  of  the  White  Demon, 
liustem  slays  him,  and  squeezes  his  heart's  blood  into  their  eyes, 
^s  we  shall  see,  this  use  of  the  demon's  heart  is  transferred  to  the 
rail  in  the  Tobit  story,  but  it  is  completely  in  keeping. 

2  On  the  folk-motive  of  the  "  Grateful  Dead  Man "  see  above, 
x  248. 

3  See  p.  241,  above. 


before  him,  and  all  the  angels  of  the  faithful1  who 
increase  the  welfare  of  the  world." 

And  with  this  the  angel  vanished,  and  they  all 
were  filled  with  awe  and  with  gladness.  In  process 
of  time  Vahauka  and  his  wife  died  in  a  good  old  age, 
and  their  son  performed  the  rites  for  them  in  due 
order  according  to  the  Law.  And  after  this  Vahyaz- 
data  and  Utausa  went  to  dwell  in  Raga,  where  were 
Vaumisa  and  his  wife,  and  they  lived  to  a  good  age. 
But  before  they  died  they  had  joy  from  hearing  how 
Azhi  Dahaka  was  slain  and  the  kingdom  passed  to 
the  faithful.2 

1  Fravasayo  asaongm.     For  the  context  cf.  Tob.  1 1 14  X. 

2  The  mistaken  reference  in  the  Oxford  Apocrypha  (i.  201,  223) 
to  my  discussion  on  Tobit  as  in  "excursus  to  Lecture  II."  is  due  to 
a  rearrangement  introduced  since   the   MS.   stage,   in  which  Mr 
Simpson  read  it. 


i.  The  Gathas. 

ii.  Passages  from  Greek  Authors. 

(1)  Herodotus,  i.  131-140. 

(2)  Plutarch,  I  sis  and  Osiris,  46,  47. 

(3)  Strabo,  xv.  iii.  13-15,  17,  20. 

(4)  Diogenes  Laertius,  Procemium,  vi.  6-9. 

iii.  Excursus. 


I  HAVE  felt  it  necessary  to  put  before  the  English  student  the 
documents  on  which  any  account  of  Early  Zoroastrianism  must 
he  primarily  based.  He  can  indeed  read  them  in  Prof.  Milk's 
version  (SBE,  xxxi.,  or  the  immense  monograph  "  The  Five 
Gathas,"  with  the  Pahlavi  and  Sanskrit  tradition).  But  the 
SBE  volume  was  published  in  1887,  and  it  is  essential  that 
the  results  of  newer  work  should  be  presented.  My  version 
disclaims  originality.  Had  I  the  authority  which  only  the  life 
long  specialist  can  claim,  I  should  still  think  it  the  student's 
right  to  have  before  him  the  results  of  Prof.  Bartholomae, 
whose  massive  Lexicon  must  be  for  another  generation  as  much 
a  court  of  final  appeal  as  Justi's  was  when  I  began  to  read 
Avestan  with  Cowell.  I  have  not,  however,  followed  him 
slavishly :  all  who  can  read  German  will  naturally  study  his 
own  version l  directly.  In  particular,  I  was  bound  to  use 
Prof.  Geldner's  latest  views  as  exhibited  in  the  Grundriss  d.  iran. 
Philologie  and  in  his  invaluable  classified  collection  of  Avestan 
extracts  in  Prof.  Bertholefs  Religionsgeschiclitliches  Lesebuch 
(Tubingen,  1911).  If  I  have  generally  leaned  towards  Bar- 
tholomae''s  view,  for  all  his  daring  originality,  it  is  mostly 
because  his  case  is  accessible  in  the  Worterbuch  and  its  appendix; 
and  for  the  present  it  may  be  said  at  least  tentatively  to  hold 
the  field.  To  decide  judicially  between  two  such  experts  non 
nostrum  est. 

I  have  endeavoured  to  keep  the  same  English  word  for  the 
technical  terms,  but  not  because  any  one  word  will  always 
represent  them.  Where  these  terms  are  brought  in,  generally 
with  initial  capital  to  emphasise  them,  the  reader  is  asked  to 

1  Die  Gathas  des  Avesta,  Zarathushtra's  Vers-Predigten  (Strassburg,  1905). 



recall  the  original  and  the  explanations  occurring  in  the  body 
of  this  work,  to  which  I  hope  the  Index  will  at  once  give  him 
reference.  The  following  are  the  chief: — 

Ahura  Mazddh :  [Wise  Lord] — regularly  left  untranslated, 
though  not  without  reluctance. 

Asa :  Right — hence  asavan  :  righteous.  Rightness,  Truth, 
Righteousness,  will  often  come  nearer  the  meaning. 

Vohu  (vahista)  Manah  :  Good  (Best)  Thought. 

XsaQra :  Dominion.  Kingdom  will  often  be  preferable,  or 
Sovranty,  Rule. 

Aramaiti  (Armaiti) :  Piety.     Or  Devotion. 

Haurvatat:  Welfare.     Or  Salvation  (see  p.  295  n.). 

Amdrdtat :  Immortality. 

Sraosa :  Obedience. 

A  si :  Destiny. 

Gav  :  Cattle  (as  indeterminate  in  gender).     But 

GSus  urvan :  Ox-soul. 

Gdus,  tasan :  Ox-creator. 

Saosyant :  Future  Deliverer. 

Cinvant :  Separater. 

Spsnta :  Holy. 

Mainyu  :  Spirit. 

Daena  :  Self. 

Maga  :  Covenant  (?).     (See  note  on  Ys  2911.) 

Angra :  Enemy. 

Aesma  :  Violence. 

Druj :  Lie — hence  drsgvant :  Liar.  This  is  always  to  be 
understood  in  the  technical  sense  "  infidel,"  i.e.  daesya-worshipper. 

Daeva  :  Demon — generally  left  untranslated. 

Yasna  28 

1.  With  outspread  hands  in  petition  for  that  help,  0 
Mazdah,  first  of  all  things  I  will  pray  for  the  works  of  the  holy 
spirit,  O  thou  the  Right,  whereby  I  may  please  the  will  of  Good 
Thought  and  the  Ox-soul.1 

1  See  pp.  97,  303. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  28  345 

2.  I   who    would   serve   you,  O    Mazdah    Ahura   and   Good 
Thought — do  ye  give  through  the  Right  the  blessings  of  both 
worlds,  the  bodily  and  that  of  Thought,  which  set  the  faithful 
in  felicity. 

3.  I  who  would  praise  you,  as  never  before,  Right,  and  Good 
Thought,  and  Mazdah  Ahura,  and  those  for  whom  Piety  makes 
an    imperishable    Dominion    grow  :    come   ye    to   my   help   at 
my  call. 

4.  I  who  have  set  my  heart  on  watching  over  the  soul,1  in 
union   with  Good   Thought,  and  as  knowing  the  rewards  of 
Mazdah   Ahura  for  our  works,  will,  while  I   have  power  and 
strength,  teach  men  to  seek  after  Right.2 

5.  O  thou  the  Right,  shall  I  see  thee  and  Good  Thought,  as 
one  that  knows — the  throne  of  the  mightiest  Ahura  and  the 
Obedience  of   Mazdah  ?      Through    this    word    (of   promise) 3 
on   our    tongue    will    we    turn    the    robber    horde    unto    the 

6.  Come  thou  with  Good  Thought,  give  through  Right,  O 
Mazdah,  as  thy  gift  to  Zarathushtra  by  thy  sure  words,  long- 
enduring  mighty  help,  and  to  us,4  0  Ahura,  whereby  we  may 
overcome  foes.5 

7.  Grant,    O   thou  the  Right,  the  reward,  the  blessings  of 
Good  Thought ;  O  Piety,  give  our  desire  to  Vishtaspa  and  to 
me ;  O  thou,  Mazdah  (Wise  one)  and  Sovran,  grant  that  your  6 
Prophet  may  perform  the  word  of  hearing. 

8.  The  best  I  ask  of  thee,  O  Best,  Ahura  (Lord)  of  one  will 

1  The  souls  of  his  people — collective.     (See  p.  170  n.1.) 

2  Truth  (Plutarch's  d\^0eta)  would  be  nearer  here. 

3  ManBra,  "  spell."     There  seems  a  conscious  transformation  of  a  word 
hitherto  used  of  mere  spells,   and   destined   to   revert  to  this  baser  use. 
Zarathushtra's  "  spells "  are  promises  of  heaven,  by  which  he  will  convert 
the  wild  nomads  to  the  Truth. 

*  As  in  some  other  places,  the  Prophet's  followers  are  the  speakers, 
joining  him  with  themselves  as  a  present  leader.  Zarathushtra  might  still 
be  the  composer,  as  in  v.T  below. 

6  Omitting  dvaesa  for  the  metre  :  the  MS.  text  has  "  the  hostilities  of 
the  hostile"  (Bartholomae  in  his  1879  text). 

6  As  often,  the  plural  joins  the  Amesha  with  Mazdah.  Note  how  the 
collocation  Mazda  x^ya-cd  brings  out  the  fact  that  Mazdah  is  not  yet  a 
mere  proper  name.  It  would  in  some  ways  be  more  satisfactory  to  keep  "  the 
Wise"  throughout,  and  "  Lord"  for  Ahura. 


with  the  Best  Right,1  desiring  them  for  the  hero  Frashaoshtra 2 
and  myself  and  for  them  to  whom  thou  wilt  give  them,  gifts  of 
Good  Thought  for  aye. 

9.  With  these  bounties,   O   Ahura,  may  we  never  provoke 
your   wrath,   O    Mazdah   and   Right   and    Best   Thought,   we 
who  have   been  eager  in    bringing   you   songs   of  praise.     Ye 
are  they  that  are  mightiest  to  advance  desires  and  the  Dominion 
of  Blessings.3 

10.  The  wise  whom  thou  knowest  as  worthy,  for  their  right 
(doing)  and  their  good  thought,  for  them  do  thou  fulfil  their 
longing   by    attainment.      For   I    know   words   of  prayer  are 
effectual  with  you,  which  tend  to  a  good  matter. 

11.  I  who  would  thereby  preserve  Right  and  Good  Thought 
for  evermore,  do  thou  teach  me,  O  Mazdah  Ahura,  from  thy 
spirit  by  thy  mouth  how  it  will  be  with  the  First  Life.4 

Yasna  29 

1.  Unto  you5  wailed  the  Ox-soul.6  "For  whom7  did  ye 
fashion  me?  Who  created  me?  Violence8  and  rapine  hath 
oppressed  me,  and  outrage  and  might.  I  have  no  other  herds 
man  than  you  :  prepare  for  me  then  the  blessings  of  pasture."" 

1  Asha  Vahishta  was  fixed  as  a  title  later  :  in  the  Gathas  the  epithet  is 
free,  as  it  is  with  Manah. 

2  A  noble  of  the  Hvogva  family,  brother  of  Jamaspa,  and  son-in-law  of 
Zarathushtra  and  a  chief  helper. 

3  x$a(lra  savanham,  eschatological.    Savah  is  a  noun  from  the  verb  sav, 
"  bless"  or  "  save,"  of  which  the  future  participle  is  saosyant. 

4  Life  in  this  world,  also    called  "corporeal  life"   or    "this  life,"  as 
opposed  to   "future"   or   "second"   or  "spiritual  life."     He    "asks  for 
inspiration  that  he  may  set  forth  the  way  in  which  this  life  may  be  so 
lived  as  to  lead  on  to  another"  (ERPP,  90,  where  an  alternative  rendering 
is  noted). 

6  Ahura  with  the  Amesha  around  him. 

6  G»us  urvan  is  a  being  with  much  the  same  relation  to  cattle  on  earth 
that  the  Fravashis  have  to  men.     He  complains  in  the  heavenly  council  of 
violence  done  to  those  on  earth  whom  he  represents. 

7  "  What "  seems  less  likely.     The  masc.  anticipates  the  answer  that  the 
hymn  will  supply. 

8  Aesmo,  but  it  is  not  yet  a  proper  name  :  it  is  on  the  same  footing  as  the 
synonyms  following.     After  hazascd  the  word  rsmo,  "  savagery,"  is  left  out 
for  the  metre — it  may  be  a  gloss. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  28,  29  347 

2.  Then  the  Ox-Creator l  asked  of  the  Right :  "  Hast  thou  a 
judge  for  the  Ox,  that  ye  may  be  able  to  appoint  him  zealous 
tendance  as  well  as  fodder  ?     Whom  do  ye  will  to  be  his  lord,2 
who  may  drive  off  violence 3  together  with  the  followers  of  the 

3.  To  him   the  Right  replied 5 :    "  There  is  for  the    Ox   no 
helper   that   can    keep    harm    away.     Those  yonder6  have  no 
knowledge  how  right-doers  act  towards  the  lowly." 

(The  Ox-Creator)  "Strongest  of  beings  is  he  to  whose  help  I 
come  at  call." 

4.  (Asha)  "  Mazdah    knoweth    best  the  purposes  that   have 
been  wrought  already  by  demons  and  by  mortals,  and  that  shall 
be  wrought  hereafter.     He,  Ahura,  is  the  decider.     So  shall  it 
be  as  he  shall  will." 

5.  (The  Ox-Creator7)  "To  Ahura  with  outspread  hands  we 
twain  would  pray,  my  soul  and  that  of  the  pregnant  Cow,  so 
that  we  twain  urge  Mazdah  with  entreaties  :  Destruction  is  not 
for  the  right-living  nor  for  the  cattle- tender,  at  hands  of  the 

6.  Then  spake  Ahura  Mazdah  himself,  who  knows  the  laws, 
with  wisdom  :  "  There  is  found  no  lord  or  judge8  according  to 

1  It  is  suggested  in  ERPP,  91  (q.v.  for  analysis  and  further  notes)  that 
this  genius  replaces  Mithra.     He  is  not  Ahura  Mazdah,  for  he  addresses 
him  in  this  hymn.     Bartholomae  makes  both  Gaus  taSan  and  Gau§  urvan 
share  the  title  of  Ahura,  which  belongs  also  to  the  Amesha  and  to  Atar : 
these  nine  are  named  together  in  Ys  I2  and  702. 

2  Ahunm :  the  word  is  a  common  noun  here. 

3  Ae$ma  here  comes  much  nearer  personification. 

4  Dragvant,  "  one  who  has  the  Druj,"  the  standing  antithesis  to  aSavant, 
"  one  who  has  Asha." 

6  Asha,  as  guardian  of  things  as  they  should  be.  But  the  passage  is 
significant  in  that  even  Asha  is  not  high  enough  for  the  purpose  presently 
disclosed.  Nothing  less  than  Mazdah's  own  commission  will  be  authority 
enough  for  Zarathushtra. 

6  I.e.  men  below. 

7  But  instead  of  him  we  seem  to  have  Gsus  urvan  again,  who  speaks  for 
a  primeval  pair,  ox  and  cow. 

8  Ahu   and  ratu   are   correlative  terms,   in  the   Qathas    denoting    the 
prince  and   the  judge    respectively,  the    former    executing   the    judge's 
decisions.     At  the  final  Judgement  Mazdah  is  ahu  and  Zarathushtra  ratu. 
See  p.  160  f. 


the  Right  Order ;  for  the  Creator  hath  formed  thee  for  the  cattle- 
tender  and  the  farmer.1 

7.  This  ordinance  about  the  fat 2  hath  Ahura  Mazdah,  one  in 
will  with  the  Right,  created  for  the  cattle,  and  the  milk  for 
them  that  crave  nourishment,  by  his  command,  the  holy  one. 

(The  Ox  and  Cow)  "Whom  hast  thou,  O  Good  Thought,3 
among  men  who  may  care  for  us  twain  ?  " 

8.  (  Vohu  Manah)  '*  He  is  known  to  me  here  who  alone  hath 
heard  our  commands,  even  Zarathushtra  Spitama  :  he  willeth  to 
make  known  our  thoughts,  O  Mazdah,  and  those  of  the  Right. 
So  let  us  bestow  on  him  charm  of  speech.'1 

9.  Then    the  Ox-Soul  lamented :  "  That  I  must  be  content 
with  the  ineffectual  word  of  an  impotent  man  for  my  protector, 
when  I  wish  for  one  that   commands    mightily !     When   ever 
shall  there  be  one  who  shall  give  him  (the  Ox)  effectual  help  ? " 

10.  (Zarathushtra 4)  "  Do  ye,  O  Ahura,  grant  them  strength, 
O  Right,  and  that  Dominion,  O  Good  Thought,  whereby  he 
(the  protector)  can  produce  good  dwellings  and  peace.     I  also 
have  realised  thee,  Mazdah,  as  first  discoverer  of  this. 

11.  Where  are  Right  and  Good  Thought   and   Dominion? 
So,  ye  men,  acknowledge  me,  for  instruction,  Mazdah,  for  the 
great  society."5 

1  The  cattle  are  chattels,  and  can  only  appear  by  their  patron,  like  a 
woman  with  her  Kvpios  in  Greek  law. 

2  Mazdah  declares  that  the  cattle  are  divinely  appointed  to  give  flesh 
and  milk  to   men.      As   Bartholomae   observes,   the   form   of  eipression 
assumes  the  hearer's  knowledge  of  the  manthra  ("  ordinance ")  stated  :  the 
Gatha  only  mentions  it  allusively. 

3  Cattle  were  the  special  province  of  Vohu  Manah,  but  the  Gathas  do 
not  emphasise  it. 

4  Justi  would   make   the  Fravashi  of  the   Prophet  interlocutor  here. 
Since  the  Fravashis  are  ignored  in  the  Gathas  (see  p.  264  f.),  this  should  not 
be  admitted  without  strong  reason.     And  in  this  symbolic  poem  it  is  very 
natural  for  Zarathushtra  to  picture  himself  joining  in  the  council  without 
raising  prosaic  questions  as  to  the  way  in  which  he  could  do  so.     Incident 
ally   note  how  consonant   with    Zarathushtra's    own    authorship  is  the 
depreciatory  phrase  of  v.  9.     It  is  what  in  Gospel  criticism  would  be  called 
a  "  Pillar  "  passage,  in  Prof.  Schmiedel's  phrase — one  which  is  guaranteed 
by  the  impossibility  of  later  ages  inventing  it. 

5  A  rather  problematic  word,  taken  by  Bartholomae  as  Zarathushtra's 
name  for  his  community  of  followers.     But  there  is  great  attractiveness  in 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  29,  30  349 

( The  Ox  and  Cow)  "  O  Ahura,  now  is  help  ours  :  we  will  be 
ready  to  serve  those  that  are  of  you." x 

Yasna  30 

1.  Now  will  I  proclaim  to  those  who  will  hear  the   things 
that  the  understanding  man  should  remember,  for  hymns  unto 
Ahura  and  prayers  to  Good  Thought ;  also  the  felicity  that  is 
with  the  heavenly  lights,  which  through  Right  shall  be  beheld 
by  him  who  wisely  thinks. 

2.  Hear  with  your  ears  the  best  things ;  look  upon  them  with 
clear-seeing  thought,  for  decision  between  the  two  Beliefs,  each 
•nan  for   himself  before  the  Great  Consummation,  bethinking 
you  that  it  be  accomplished  to  our  pleasure. 

3.  Now  the  two  primal  Spirits,  who  revealed  themselves  in 
vision 2  as  Twins,3  are  the  Better  and  the  Bad  in  thought  and 
word  and  action.     And  between  these  two  the  wise  once  chose 
aright,  the  foolish  not  so. 

4.  And  when  these  twain  Spirits  came  together  in  the  be 
ginning,  they  established  Life  and  Not-Life,  and  that  at  the  last 
the  Worst  Existence  shall  be  to  the  followers  of  the  Lie,  but 
the  Best  Thought 4  to  him  that  follows  Right. 

the  argument  elaborated  by  Prof.  Carnoy  of  Louvain  in  Museon,  n.s.  ix. 
(p.  17  ff.  of  reprint).  He  equates  maga  with  Skt  magha  in  the  sense  of 
richesse,  meaning  generally  "  treasure  in  heaven,"  especially  when  combined 
with  the  adjective  great  in  the  "archaic  expression"  found  here.  If 
Carnoy  is  right,  we  must  alter  the  rendering  accordingly  in  Ys  4614,  5111'16, 
537 ;  see  further  the  note  on  Ys  337. 

1  Yusmavant,  lit.  "  like  you,"  apparently  means  "  you  of  the  heavenly 
company,"  Mazdah  and  the  spirits  with  him. 

2  xvo-fnd  Bartholornae  equates  with  somno,  an  exact  phonetic  equivalent 
yielding  good  sense.     Geldner  (in  Religionsgeschichtliches  Lesebuch  (1910), 
p.  324)  renders  "nach  ihrem  eigenen  Wort."     The  word  occurs  in  Yt  13104 
•is  "  dream,"  and  often  as  "  sleep."     For  a  defence  of  Bartholomae's  render 
ing  against  Justi,  see  Zum  AirWb,  245. 

3  Geldner  (I.e.)  has  now  accepted  this  traditional  rendering.    Bartholomae 
remarks  that  the  word  occurs  in  the  Pahlavi  form  in  the  Dinkart,  where 
West  renders  "  Ohrmazd  and   Ahraman  have  been  two  brothers   in   one 
womb"  (SEE,  xxxvii.  242).     See  above,  p.  132  f. 

4  Bartholomae  (AirWb,  1 133)  wishes  to  recognise  a  second  manah, "  dwel 
ling"  (juoi/rj),  to  complete  the  parallelism.     It  seems  very  unlikely  that  the 


5.  Of  these   twain   Spirits   he  that    followed  the   Lie  chose 
doing   the   worst  things ;    the  holiest    Spirit  chose  Right,   he 
that  clothes  him   with  the  massy  heavens  as  a  garment.      So 
likewise  they  that  are  fain  to  please  Ahura  Mazdah  by  duti 
ful  actions. 

6.  Between  these  twain  the  demons  l  also  chose  not  aright, 

O        " 

for  infatuation  came  upon  them  as  they  took  counsel  together, 
so  that  they  chose  the  Worst  Thought.  Then  they  rushed 
together 2  to  Violence,3  that  they  might  enfeeble  the  world 
of  man. 

7.  And  to  him  (i.e.  mankind)  came  Dominion,  Good  Thought, 
and  Right ;  and  Piety  gave  continued  life  of  their  bodies 4  and 
indestructibility,    so    that    by    thy   retributions    through   the 
(molten)  metal 5  he  may  gain  the  prize  over  those  others.6 

8.  So  when  there  cometh  the  punishment  of  these  evil  ones, 
then,  O  Mazdah,  at  thy  command  shall  Good  Thought  establish 
the  Dominion  in  the  Consummation,  for  those  who  deliver  the 
Lie,  O  Ahura,  into  the  hands  of  Right. 

9.  So  may  we  be  those  that  make  this  world  advance  ! 7    0 

familiar  collocation  vahi&am  mano  should  thus  change  its  meaning.  In 
Ys  534  heaven  is  "  the  inheritance  of  Good  Thought "  ;  and  Humanah 
was  in  Later  Avestan  one  of  the  three  heavens  that  led  to  the  House 
of  Song. 

1  Kemembering  that    the   Daeva   were   the   old   nature-gods,   who  got 
their  bad   character   largely   through  the  predatory  behaviour  of  their 
devotees,  this  verse  becomes  very  suggestive ;  it  preserves  the  memory  of 
a  time  when  the  Daevas  had  not  yet  fallen. 

2  In  L.  Av.  dvar  is  a  verb  peculiar  to  the  daevan  world  :  see  p.  219. 

3  Aesma,  semi-personified  here. 

4  Prof.  A.  V.  W.  Jackson  (in  JAOS,  xv.  lix.  f.)  showed  that  as  Aramaiti 
is  in  special  charge  of  the  Earth,  this  involves  the  idea  of  a  bodily  resurrec 
tion  for  those  who  sleep  in  her  bosom.     We  might  add  that  it  squares  badly 
with  the  Magian  doctrine  that  the  Earth  must  not  receive  the  bodies  of 
the  dead  ;  it  presumes  burial   as  practised  by  the  Iranians,  and  notably 
by  the  Achaemenian  kings. 

5  Ayanhd,  which  in  L.  Av.  was  expanded  into  ayah  x$usta,  "  molten  metal." 
It  is  the  flood  which  is  to  be  poured  out  on  the  Last  Day,  which  will  burn 
up  all  evil,  but  leave  the  good  unharmed. 

6  Lit.   "  become    first  over   them,"  irpwros  avrwv — to   use  the  idiom  of 
Hellenistic  Greek. 

7  Fwasvm  tonndun  ahum  :  the  noun  of  this  verbal  phrase,  fraso-krrati, 
becomes  in  L.  Av.  a  term,  techn.  for  the  Kegeneration. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  30,  31  351 

Mazdah,  and  ye  other  Ahuras,1  gather  together  the  Assembly,2 
and  thou  too  the  Right,  that  thoughts  may  meet  where  Wisdom 
is  at  home.3 

10.  Then    truly  on  the  Lie4  shall  come  the  destruction  of 
delight 5 ;  but  they  that  get  them  good  name  shall  be  partakers 
in  the  promised  reward  in  the  fair  abode  of  Good  Thought,  of 
Mazdah,  and  of  Right. 

11.  If,  O  ye  mortals,  ye    mark   those  commandments  that 
Mazdah  hath  ordained — of  happiness  and  pain,  the  long  punish 
ment  for  the  liars,  and  blessings  for  the  righteous — then  here 
after  shall  ye  have  bliss. 

Yasna  31 

1.  Mindful  of  your  commands,  we  proclaim  words  hard  for 
them  to  hear  that  after  the  commands  of  the  Lie  destroy  the 
creatures  of  Right,  but  most  welcome  to  those  that  give  their 
heart  to  Mazdah. 

2.  If  by  reason  of  these  things  the  better  part  is  not  in  sight   ~ 
for  the  soul,  then  will  I  come  to  you  all  as  the  judge  of  the 
parties  twain,6  whom  Ahura  Mazdah  knoweth,  that  we  may 
live  according  to  the  Right. 

1  By  an  idiom  frequently  paralleled  in  Aryan,  "  ye  Mazdah  Ahuras  "  means 
"Mazdah  and  the  others  (see  p.  241)  who  bear  the  title  Ahura  (Lord)." 

2  Probably  best  taken    eschatologically,   though    Bartholomae   renders 
"  Eure  Bundesgenossenschaft  gewahrend." 

3  So  the  tradition,  and  Mills  in  SEE.     Justi  (Idg.  Forsch.,  xviii.  (1905-6), 
Anzeiger    36)  defends  it  satisfactorily,   I   think.      "Wisdom"   is   really 
"  religion,"  in  the  familiar  Old  Testament  sense  :  from  cisti  Zarathushtra 
named  his  daughter  Pourucista,  a  (pp6vi/j.os  nap6evos  according  to  the  applica 
tion  of  Matt.  252.     The  verse  becomes  a  prayer  for  the  speedy  coming  of 
the  End,  when  good  men's  "thoughts"  (memo)  would  dwell  in   "Good 
Thought "  or  Paradise,  where  Religion  has  her  eternal  home.     Bartholomae 
differs  widely,  "wo  die  Einsicht  noch  schwankend  ist"  ;  Geldner  has  "wo 
noch  der  falsche  Glaube  besteht." 

4  That  is  on  the  followers  of  Druj. 

6  Skendo  spayaerahyd  is  very  doubtful.  Geldner,  "  der  Untergang  der 
Macht  (?) "  ;  Mills,  "  the  blow  of  destruction  "  :  the  tradition  made  spayaffra 
"  army,"  and  Tiele  took  it  as  a  proper  name  of  an  angel  of  destruction. 
My  rendering  follows  Bartholomae,  but  without  any  assurance.  He  com 
pares  Ys  536.  , 

6  The  followers  of  Ahura  and  of  the  Daevas  respectively.  Zarathushtra 
declares  himself  to  be  the  ratu  appointed  by  Ahura. 


3.  What  award  thou  givest  by  thy  Spirit  and  thy  Fire,  and 
hast  taught  by  Right,  to  the  two  parties,1  and  what  decision 
unto  the   wise — this  do  thou  tell  us,  Mazdah,  that  we  may 
know,  even  with  the  tongue  of  thine  own  mouth,  that  I  may 
convert  all  living  men. 

4.  If  Right  is  to  be  invoked   and  Mazdah    and   the   other 
Ahuras,2    and    Destiny  and    Piety,3  do  thou  seek    for  me,   0 
thou  Best  Thought,  the  mighty  Dominion,  by  the  increase  of 
which  we  might  vanquish  the  Lie. 

5.  Tell  me  therefore  what  ye,  O  thou  Right,  have  appointed 
me  as  the  better  portion,  for  me  to  determine,  to  know  and  to 
keep  in  mind,  O  thou  Good  Thought — which  portion  they  envy 
me :    tell  me  of  all  these  things,  O  Mazdah  Ahura,  that  shall 
not  be  or  shall  be. 

6.  To  him  shall  the  Best  fall  who  as  one  that  knows  4  speaks 
to  me  Righfs  very  word  5  of  Welfare  and  Immortality,6  even 
that  Dominion  of  Mazdah  which  Good  Thought  will  prosper 
for  him. 

7.  He  that  in  the  beginning  thus  thought,7  "  Let  the  blessed 
realms  be  filled  with  lights,"  he  it  is  that  by  his  wisdom  created 
Right.     Those  realms  that  the  Best  Thought  shall  possess  thou 
dost  prosper,  Mazdah,  by  thy  spirit,  which,  O  Ahura,  is  ever 
the  same. 

1  Believers  and  unbelievers.     Geldner  tr.  "  die  beiden  Schulden,"  that  is 
"  um  Lohn  und  Strafe  zu  bestimmen." 

2  Bartholomae  compares  with  this  plural,  "  the  Mazdah   Ahuras,"  the 
phrase  in  the  Behistan  Inscription,  "Auramazda  and  the  other  bagas  that 
exist."      So  also   Xerxes,   "Auramazda  with   the   bagas."     He  adds  that 
Varuna  is  found  in  the  plural  in  the  Atharva  Veda,  meaning,  I  presume, 
"Varuna  and  his  associates."      Provided   that   we  limit   the  Ahuras  to 
Mazdah  and  the  Six,  with  the  other  Gathic  abstractions  of  the  same  class, 
we  do  not  compromise  Zarathushtra's  unmistakable  monotheism. 

3  A  Si  in  the  Gathas   represents   the  eschatological  award  to  good  and 
bad.     She  is  here  put  in  close  connexion  with  Aramaiti,  the  two  nouns 
standing  in  the  dual  as  an  associated  (dvandva)  pair.         4  See  p.  118. 

6  Man8ra,  teaching,  doctrine  :  the  word  later  fell  to  a  mere  "spell." 

6  So  Bartholomae  renders  haurvatdto  a$ahyd  amarstatdtasca.     I  am  not 
quite  sure  that  we  should  not  keep  the  order,  with  Asha  between  the  other 
two  Amesha — "  the  word  of  Welfare,  Right,  and  Immortality." 

7  Bartholomae  links  with  6 — "  dessen  der  zu  Anfang  sich  das  ausdachte." 
See  some  comments  on  this  stanza  and  the  next  in  ERPP,  85. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  31  353 

8.  I  conceived  of  thee,  O  Mazdah,  in  my  thought  that  thou, 
the  First,  art  (also)  the  Last  —  that  thou  art  Father  of  Good 
Thought,  for  thus  I  apprehended  thee   with  mine   eye  —  that 
thou  didst  truly  create  Right,  and  art  the  Lord  (ahuwm)  to 
judge  the  actions  of  life. 

9.  Thine  was  Piety,  thine  the  Ox-Creator,1  even  wisdom  of 
spirit,  O  Mazdah  Ahura,  for  that  thou  didst  give  (the  cattle) 
choice  whether  to  depend  on  a  husbandman  or  on  one  that  is 
no  husbandman.2 

10.  So  of  the  twain   it  chose  for  itself  the   cattle-tending 
husbandman  as   its  lord  according   to   Right,3  the  man  that 
advances    Good   Thought.4      He  that   is    no   husbandman,  O 
Mazdah,  however  eager  he  be,  has  no  part  in  the  good  message.5 

11.  When  thou,  Mazdah,  in  the  beginning  didst  create  beings 
and  (men's)  Selves  6  by  thy  Thought,  and  intelligences  —  when 
thou  didst  make  life  clothed  with  body,  when  (thou  madest) 
actions  and  teachings,  whereby  one  may  exercise  choice  at  one's 
free  will  ; 

12.  Then  lifts    up  his   voice  the   false  speaker  or  the  true 
speaker,  he  that  knows  or  he  that  knows  not,  each  according  to 
his  own  heart  and   thought.      Passing   from   one  to  another, 
Piety  pleads  with  the  spirit  in  which  there  is  wavering. 

13.  Whatsoever  open  or  secret  things  may  be  visited  with 
judgement,  or  what  man  for  a  little  sin  demands  the  heaviest 
penalty  —  of  all  this  through  the  Right  thou  art  ware,  observing 
them  with  flashing  eye. 

14.  These  things  I  ask  thee,  Ahura,  how  they  shall  come  and 
issue  —  the  requitals  that  in  accord  with  the  records  are  appointed 
for   the   righteous,   and   those,    Mazdah,    that    belong   to   the 
liars,  how  these  shall  be  when  they  come  to  the  reckoning. 

1  Bartholomae  notes  that  Aramaiti  and  G5u$  taSan  are  linked  because  the 
former  has  the  Earth  as  province. 

2  The  nomad  of  the  daevaynsna,  a  persistent  cattle-raider. 

3  Ahuram  asaonam  :  note  here  ahura  applied  to  a  man,  who  is  for  the 
cattle  what  Ahura  is  to  mankind. 

4  A  good  instance  of  Vohu  Manah  as  lord  of  cattle. 

5  Humyrrtois  (cf.  Skt  smrti}  is  in  etymology  and  meaning  much  like 

6  Daend,  "the  sum  of  a  man's  spiritual  and  religious  characteristics" 
Bartholomae,  AirWb,  666  :  see  the  whole  note). 


15.  This  I  ask,  what  penalty  is  for  him  who  seeks  to  achieve 
kingship  for  a  liar,1  for  the  man  of  ill  deeds,  O  Ahura,  who  finds 
not  his  living  without  injury  to  the  husbandman's  cattle  and 
men,  though  he  does  him  no  harm. 

16.  This  I  ask,  whether  the  understanding  man  that  strives 
to  advance  the  Dominion  over  house  or  district  or  land  by  the 
Right,  will  be  one  like  thee,  O  Mazdah  Ahura — when  he  will 
be  and  how  he  will  act. 

17.  Whether  is  greater,  the  belief  of  the  righteous  or  of  the 
liar  ?     Let  him  that  knows  tell  him  that  knows ;  let  not  him 
that  knows  nothing  deceive  any  more.     Be  to  us,  O  Mazdah 
Ahura,  the  teacher  of  Good  Thought. 

18.  Let  none  of  you  listen  to  the  liar's  words  and  commands: 
he  brings  house  and  clan  and  district  and  land  into  misery  and 
destruction.     Resist  them  then  with  weapon  ! 

19.  To  him   should  one   listen   who    has  the    Right  in  his 
thought,  a  healer  of  life  and  one  that  knows — who,  O  Ahura. 
can  establish  the  truth  of  the  words  of  his  tongue  at  will,  wher 
by  thy  red  Fire,  O  Mazdah,  the  assignment   is  made  to  the 
two  parties.2 

20.  Whoso  cometh  to  the  righteous  one,  far  from  him  shal 
be  the  future  long  age  of  misery,  of  darkness,  ill  food,  and  crying 
of  Woe !     To  such  an  existence,  ye  liars,  shall  your  own  Sel 
bring  you  by  your  actions.3 

21 .  Mazdah  Ahura  by  virtue  of  his  absolute  lordship  will  givi 
a  perpetuity  of  communion  with  Welfare  and  Immortality  am 
Right,  with  Dominion,  with  Good  Thought,  to  him  that  ii 
spirit  and  in  actions  is  his  friend. 

22.  Clear  is  it  to  the  man  of  understanding,  as  one  who  ha 

1  Bartholomae  thinks  that  here  and  in  18  we  have  personal  allusions  t 
a   daevayasna  chief  (Bandva)  and  a  teacher  or  priest  (Grthma)  who  wer 
foremost  in  opposing  Zarathushtra. 

2  It  seems  clear  (despite  Justi  in  IdgF,  xviii.,  Anz.  35)  that  Zarathushti 
means  himself  :  he  will  fulfil  his  prophetic  warnings  at  the  last  day,  whe 
their  truth  "  is  revealed  in  fire."     For  the  dual  ranayd  see  Ys  31 3  above. 

3  After  Bartholomae.    The  asavan  is  Zarathushtra.    Dawgam  dyu  (cognat 
with  al6v,  aevom)  no  doubt  means  eternity,  but  the  adjective  is  not  decisiv 
For  "  ill  food  "  cf.  Ys  49"  ;  for  "  crying,"  Ys  537.    Bartholomae  takes  avaeh 
vaco  (lit,  "  woe  !  "-ness  of  voice)  as  an  abstract  from  avoi  (cf.  oval,  vae).    F< 
daend,  the  Self,  see  v.11. 

THE    GATHAS—  Ys  31,  32  355 

realised  it  with  his  thought.  He  upholds  Right  together  with 
the  good  Dominion  by  his  word  and  deed.  He  shall  be  the 
most  helpful  companion l  for  thee,  O  Mazdah  Ahura. 

Yasna  32 

1.  Zarathushtra. — And  his  blessedness,  even  that  of  Ahura 
Mazdah,  shall  the  nobles2  strive  to  attain,  his  the  community'2 
with  the  brotherhood,2  his,  ye  Daeva,  in  the  manner  I  declare  it. 

Representatives  of  the  Classes. — As  thy  messengers,  we  would 
keep  them  far  away  that  are  enemies  to  you.3 

2.  To    them    Mazdah    Ahura,    who    is    united    with    Good 
Thought,4    and    in    goodly    fellowship    with    glorious    Right, 
through    Dominion,5   made    reply :    We    make    choice   of  your 
holy  good  Piety — it  shall  be  ours. 

3.  Zarathushtra. — But  ye,  ye  Daevas  all,  and  he  6  that  highly 
honours  you,  are  seed  of  the  Bad  Thought — yea,  and  of  the 

1  Bartholomae  compares  asti  with  Skt  atithi,  "  guest"  :  the  primary  idea 
will  be  one  living  in  the  same  house. 

2  Xvaetu,  vdnzma,  and  airyaman  are,  on  Bartholomae's  scheme,  the  three 
ranks  of  the  Zarathushtrian  commonwealth  :  the  nobles,  the  peasants  or 
farmers,  and  the  priests  (AirWb,  908  :  see  ZAirWb,  118  1).    Justi  (IFAnz., 
xviii.  39  f.)  observes  that  the  airyaman  always  stands  last,  "  a  modesty  which 
the  priestly  profession  has  nowhere  else  shown."     Moreover,  he  notes  that 
airyaman  in  the  Zend  and  Pazend  of  the  Avesta  and  in  Pahlavi  literature 
generally  means  "  servant,"  and  in  Persian  "  an  uninvited  guest " — one,  there 
fore,  outside  the  family.     I  very  much  doubt  whether  there  was  any  priestly 
order  at  all  in  Zarathushtra's  system.     The  exclusion  of  the  old  Aryan 
aQaurvan  from  the  Qathas  can  hardly  be  accidental ;  and  in  the  place  where 
zaotar  occurs  (Ys  33°)  there  is  no  suggestion  that  it  is  a  separate  order. 
Justi  would  put  the  priests  into  the  -^aetu^  with  the  nobles  and  citizens. 
While  I  do  not  think  airyaman  means  "priest,"  I  do  not  feel  satisfied 
with  Justi's  "  Dienerschaft."     The  relation  to  the  Vedic  aryaman,  and  to 
the  divinity  which  elsewhere  in  the  Veda  and  Later  Avesta  attaches  to  the 
name,  is  far  from  clear.     See  above,  p.  117. 

3  I.e.  the  Ahuras,  Mazdah  and  the  rest,  as  elsewhere. 

4  Cf.  Ys  49*. 

6  XSadra,  as  a  quasi-personification  of  the  Lordship  of  Mazdah,  becomes 
the  medium  of  the  divine  acceptance  of  the  homage  of  the  Zoroastrian 

6  Bartholomae  regards  this  as  directed  definitely  at  Gnhma,  the 
daevayasuian  teacher  named  in  v.12  and  elsewhere. 


Lie  and  of  Arrogance  ;  likewise  your  deeds,  whereby  ye  have 
long  been  known  in  the  seventh  region  of  the  earth.1 

4.  For  ye  have  brought  it  to  pass  that  men  who  do  the  worst 
things  shall  be  called  beloved  of  the  Daevas,2  separating  them 
selves  from  Good  Thought,  departing  from  the  will  of  Mazdah 
Ahura  and  from  Right. 

5.  Thereby   ye    defrauded    mankind    of    happy   life   and  of 
immortality,3   by    the    deed    which    he*    and   the    Bad  Spirit 
together  with   Bad  Thought  and  Bad   Word  taught  you,  ye 
Daevas,  and  the  Liars,  so  as  to  ruin  (mankind). 

6.  The  many  sins,  by  which  he  has  attained  to  be  known, 
whether  by  these  it  shall  be  thus,5  this  thou  knowest  by  the 
Best  Thought,  O  Ahura,  who  art  mindful  of  man's  desert.     In 
thy  Dominion,  Mazdah,  shall  your  sentence  and  that  of  the 
Right  be  passed. 

7.  None  of  these   sins    will   the    understanding   commit,  in 
eagerness  to  attain  the  blessing  that  shall  be  proclaimed,  we 
know,  through  the  glowing  metal6 — sins  the  issue  of  which 
O  Ahura  Mazdah,  thou  knowest  best. 

8.  In  these  sins,7  we  know,  Yima  was  involved,  Vivahvant1; 
son,  who  desiring  to  satisfy  men  gave  our  people  flesh  of  the  o> 
to  eat.8     From  these  shall  I  be  separated  by  thee,  O  Mazdah 
at  last.  , 

1  "  The  central  part  of  the  earth,  on  which  men  live  "  (Geldner). 

2  Daevo-zustd,  identical  with  devdjusta,  a  compound  found  in  the  Rigved 
to  denote  what  is  "acceptable  to  the  Devas."     The  consciousness  of  th 
older  reputation  of  the  Daevas  is  latent. 

3  On  this  see  what  is  said  above  concerning  Yima's  Fall,  p.  148  f. 

4  That  is  Grahma  again.     It  seems  that  this  complex  sentence  intends  t 
imply  that  the  human  heretic  taught  the  "  men  of  the  Druj,"  and  Ak 
Mainyu  taught  the  Daevas.     (Geldner's  tr.,  Lesebuch,  324.) 

5  As  set  forth  in  v.6. 

6  On  the  Flood  of  Molten  Metal,  see  p.  157. 

7  Bartholomae  and  Jackson  take  aesqm  aenanham  masc.  here,  "  of  the.' 
sinners,"  though  B.  makes  the  identical  phrase  neut.  at  the  beginning  f 
v.7.     This  seems  to  me  unlikely  ;  and  as  aend  in  v.6  must  be  neuter,  I  pre  f 
to  take  it  so  throughout. 

8  See  on  all  this  p.  149.     It  may  be  observed  that  Tiele  (tr.  Nari  ,ma 
p.  76,  or  p.  90  f .  in  the  German)  argued  for  a  new  rendering  which  inv  folv 
taking  srdvl  as  active  ("  Vivanghat,  son  of  Yima  [a  slip  in  the  En  -glis! 
heard  of  this  punishment ")  ! 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  82  357 

9.  The  teacher  of  evil  destroys  the  lore,  he  by  his  teachings 
destroys  the  design  of  life,  he  prevents  the  possession  of  Good 
Thought  from  being  prized.     These  words  of  my  spirit  I  wail 
unto  you,  O  Mazdah,  and  to  the  Right. 

10.  He  it  is  that  destroys  the  lore,  who  declares  that  the 
Ox  and  the  Sun  are  the  worst  thing  to  behold  with  the  eyes,1 
and  hath  made  the  pious  into  liars,  and  desolates  the  pastures 
and  lifts  his  weapon  against  the  righteous  man. 

11.  It  is  they,  the  liars,  who  destroy  life,  who  are  mightily 
determined  to  deprive  matron   and  master  of  the  enjoyment 
of  their  heritage,2  in  that  they  would  pervert  the  righteous, 
O  Mazdah,  from  the  Best  Thought. 

12.  Since  they  by  their  lore  would    pervert   men   from  the 
best  doing,  Mazdah  utters  evil  against  them,  who  destroy  the 
life  of  the  Ox  with  shouts  of  joy,  by  whom  Grehma  and  his 
tribe 3  are  preferred  to  the  Right,  and  the  Karapan 4  and  the 
lordship  of  them  that  seek  after  the  Lie. 

13.  Since  Grehma  shall  attain  the  realms  in   the  dwelling 
of  the  Worst  Thought,  he  and  the  destroyers  of  this  life,  O 
Mazdah,  they  shall  lament  in   their   longing  for  the  message 
of  thy  prophet,  who   will  stay  them   from   beholding   of  the 

14.  To   his   undoing    Grehma    and   the    Kavis6    have    long 
devoted  their  purposes  and  energies,   for  they  set  themselves 
to  help  the   liar,   and    that   it    may  be  said  "The  Ox   shall 

1  According  to  Bartholomae's  convincing  exegesis,  this  points  to  nocturnal 
orgies  of  daem-worshippers,  associated  with  slaughter  of  cattle  (query,  a 
Mithraic  taurobolium)  and  intoxication  with  haoma.     See  further  above, 
p.  129  f. 

2  Bartholomae  takes  this  of  the  heavenly  inheritance,  comparing  K\-npoi>o/j.ia 
in  Ephes.  55.     This  connects  well  with  v.12. 

3  Lit.  "  the  Grehmas,"  as  we  say  "  the  Joneses."     This  leader  of  Daeva- 
worship  presides  at  the  orgy. 

4  The  name  denoted  priests  of  the  daevayasna,  and  is  connected  with 
Skt  kalpa,  "  ritual." 

6  The  beatific  vision,  for  which  they  will  unavailingly  long  when  it  is 
too  late. 

6  A  name  of  Iranian  chieftains,  appropriated  (when  used  separately)  to 
daevayasna  chiefs  ;  but  it  had  become  already  attached  to  the  names  of 
'••  a  dynasty  of  Mazdean  kings,  so  that  the  term  retains  for  Kavi  Vishtaspa 
a  good  connotation. 


bo    slain,    that    it    may    kindle    the    Averter    of    Death l   to 
help  us." 

15.  Thereby  hath  come  to  ruin  the  Karapan  and  the  Kavi 
community,  through  those  whom  they  will  not  have  to  rule 
over  their  life.     These  shall   be  borne  away  from  them  both 
to  the  dwelling  of  Good  Thought.2 

16.  *  *  *  *  ,3  who  hast  power,  O  Mazdah  Ahura,  over  him 
who  threatens  to  be  my  undoing,4  that  I  may  fetter  the  men 
of  the  Lie  in  their  violence  against  my  friends. 

Yasna  33 

1.  According  as  it  is  with  the  laws  that  belong  to  the  present5 
life,  so  shall  the  Judge6  act  with  most  just  deed  towards  the 
man   of  the   Lie  and   the  man  of  the  Right,  and  him  whose 
false  things  and  good  things  balance.7 

2.  Whoso  worketh  ill  for  the  liar  by    word  or  thought  or 
hands,  or  converts  his  dependent  to  the  good — such  men  meet 
the  will  of  Ahura  Mazdah  to  his  satisfaction. 

3.  Whoso  is  most  good  to  the  righteous  man,  be  he  noble 
or  member  of  the  community  or  of  the  brotherhood,8  Ahura — 
or  with  diligence  cares  for  the  cattle,  he  shall  be  hereafter  in  the 
pasture  of  Right  and  Good  Thought. 

4.  I  who  by  my  worship  would  keep  far  from  thee,  O  Mazdah. 

1  DUraosa  is  in  L.  Av.  the  standing  epithet  of  Haoma,  so  that  we  have  here 
a  perfectly  clear  allusion  to  the  old  Aryan  intoxicant  which  Zarathushtra 

2  See  above,  p.  171,  and  cf.  Ys  4810  below. 

3  Two  words  in  this  line,  uSuruye  syasclt,  defy  all  reasonable  analysis  and 
appear  to  be  corrupt. 

4  Almost  the  same  phrase  in   Ys  489.     See  AirWb,  763,  for  construc 

6  Lit.  "  former,"  as  often. 

6  The  ratu  is  Zarathushtra  himself,  but  this  does  not  seriously  militate 
against  his  authorship.     One  may  compare  Matt.  2534. 

7  See  the  discussion  of  hamistakdn  above,  p.  175  f.,  and  ERPP,  p.  98  f 
To  the  note  on  p.  175  it  may  1)6  added  that  the  old  reading  hamyasaitt 
is  altered  to  hamamydsaiU,  from  root  myas,  to  mix,  in  Geldner's  grea 
critical  edition,  with  a  decided  preponderance  of  MSS.     Cf.  Ys  48*. 

s  See  note  on  Ys  321. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  32,  33  359 

disobedience  and  Bad  Thought,1  heresy 2  from  the  nobles,  and 
from  the  community  the  Lie  that  is  most  near,3  and  from  the 
brotherhood  the  slanderers,  and  the  worst  herdsman  from  the 
pasture  of  the  cattle  ; — 

5.  I  who  would  invoke  thy  Obedience  as  greatest  of  all  at 
the  Consummation,4  attaining  eternal5  life,  and  the  Dominion 
of  Good  Thought,  and  the  straight  ways  unto  Right,  wherein 
Mazdah  Ahura  dwells  ; 

6.  I,  as  a  priest,6  who  would  learn  the  straight  (paths)  by 
the  Right,  would  learn  by  the  Best  Spirit7  how  to  practise 
husbandry  by  that  thought  in   which  it  is  thought  of :  these 
Twain  of  thine,8  O  Ahura  Mazdah,  I  strive  to  see  and  to  take 
counsel  with  them. 

7.  Come  hither  to  me,  O  ye  Best  Ones,  hither,  O  Mazdah, 
in    thine    own     person    and     visibly,     O    Right    and    Good 
Thought,    that    I    may   be    heard    beyond    the    limits   of  the 
people.9     Let  the  august  duties    be   manifest  among   us   and 
clearly  viewed. 

8.  Consider  ye   my  matters  whereon  I  am  active,  O   Good 
Thought,  my  worship,  O  Mazdah,  towards  one  like  you,1  and, 
0  thou  Right,  the  words  of  my  praise.     Grant,  O  Welfare  and 
Immortality,  your  own  everlasting  blessing.2 

1  Lit.  "  would  worship  away." 

2  tarymaitim,  the  converse  of  aramaiti  in  usage,  whether  or  no  the  latter's 
etymology  was  rightly  assumed. 

3  Druj  here  is  like  Darius's  drauga,  an  enemy's  violence. 

4  avanhdna,   Vedic  avasdna,    "  goal "  (Ruheort  in  Grassmann),  here  of 
course  eschatological,  ffvvre\tta  rov  aluvos. 

6  daragd-jyditim,  as  elsewhere,  lit.  "  long  life,"  but  its  context  regularly 
justifies  the  other  word. 

6  Zaotd,  Skt  hotar  :   the  L.  Av.  dOravan  is  not  found  in  the  Gathas,  and 
this  old  Aryan  title  only  occurs  here.     See  p.  116-8. 

7  Note  that  Vahuttm  Mano  has  here  become  V.  MainyuS. 

8  Asha  and  Vohu  Manah  :  cf.  Ys.  285,  473. 

9  Magaono,  which  Bartholomae  here  and  in  Ys  5115  renders  "Biindler." 
But  if  Carnoy  is  right  (see  note  on  Ys  2911),  it  means  "  the  rich,"  especially 
as  supporters  of  the  priests  (?)  and  the  cultus.     I  have  doubts  on  this  last 
detail:  see  p.  116  f. 

1  Cf.  Ys  2911  and  note.     XSmdvant,  "  vestri  similis,"  always  means  "one 
of  you  Ahuras,"  Mazdah  with  his  associates. 

2  That  is  "  welfare  and  immortality." 


9.  That    Spirit   of  thine,   Mazdah,  together  with  the  com 
fort    of   the    Comrades    twain,1    who    advance   the   Right,   let 
the    Best   Thought   bring   through    the    Reform    wrought   by 
me.2      Sure    is    the    support    of    those    twain,    whose    souls 
are  one. 

10.  All    the   pleasures    of   life    which    thou   boldest,  those 
that  were,  that  are,  and  that  shall  be,  O  Mazdah,  according 
to  thy  good   will  apportion  them.      Through   Good  Thought 
advance    thou    the    body,    through    Dominion    and   Right  at 

11.  The  most  mighty  Ahura  Mazdah,  and  Piety,  and  Right 
that  blesses  our  substance,  and  Good  Thought  and  Dominion 
— hearken  unto  me,  be  merciful  to  me,  when  to  each  man  the 
Recompense  comes. 

12.  Rise  up  for  me,  O  Ahura,  through  Piety  give  strength, 
through  the  holiest  Spirit  give  might,  O  Mazdah,  through  the 
good  Recompense,  through  the  Right  give  powerful  prowess, 
through  Good  Thought  give  the  Reward.3 

13.  To  support  me,   O   thou  that  seest  far  onward,  do  ye 
assure  me  the  incomparable  things  of  your  Dominion,  O  Ahura, 
as  the  Destiny4  of  Good  Thought.5     Holy  Piety,  teach  men's 
Self  the  Right. 

14.  As    an    offering    Zarathushtra    brings    the    life    of   his 
own    body,6    the    choiceness    of    good    thought,    action,   and 
speech,     unto     Mazdah,     unto     the     Right,     Obedience    and 

1  Haurvatat  and  Ameretat,  who  were  named  in  v.8. 

2  Bartholomae  observes  (AirWT),  1107)  that  Geldner  has  given  at  different 
times  three  different  versions  of  this  passage.     His  own  translation  makes 
good  sense,  but  is  far  from  convincing  when  confronted  with  the  original. 
I  follow  him  here,  but  without  any  assurance.     MaeOd  mayd  he  takes  as 
lit.  "through  my  change  "  ;  but  maeOd  in  Ys  3112  means  "  wavering,"  which 
is  not  a  support  for  the  lexicographer's  rendering  here. 

3  Eschatological,  like  add  (tr.  "recompense").     Of.   Ys.  517.     Twice  in 
the  G.  Hapt.  we  find  "  the  goodfs3ratu,  the  good  Aramaiti." 

*  A$i,  an  eschatological  term  meaning  much  the  same  as  add  smdfsaratu. 
In  L.  Av.  Ashi  Vanguhi  is  a  yazata  :  see  ERPP,  147. 

6  Cf.  Ys  462. 

8  The  thought  is  not  unlike  Rom.  121. 

7  Zarathushtra  brings  "  Dominion  "  to  Mazdah  by  bringing  "  Obedience." 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  33,  34  361 

Yasna  34 

1.  The  action,  the  word,  and  the  worship  by  which  I  will  give 
for  thee l  Immortality  and  Right,  O  Mazdah,  and  the  Dominion 
of  Welfare — through  multitudes  of  these,  O  Ahura,  we  would 
that  thou  shouldst  give  them. 

2.  And  all  the  actions  of  the  good  spirit  and  the  holy  man,2 
whose  soul  follows  with  Right,  do  ye 3  set  with  the  thought 
(thereof)  in  thine  outer  court,4  O  Mazdah,  when  ye 3  are  adored 6 
with  hymns  of  praise. 

3.  To  thee  and  to  Right    we   will  offer  the  sacrifice6  with 
due  service,  that 7  in  (thy  established)  Dominion  ye  may  bring 
all   creatures    to    perfection    through    Good   Thought.      For 
the  reward  of  the  wise  man   is    for  ever   secure,  O   Mazdah, 
among  you.8 

4.  Of  thy  Fire,9  O  Ahura,  that  is  mighty  through  Right, 
promised  and  powerful,  we  desire  that  it  may  be  for  the  faithful 
man  with  manifested  delight,  but  for  the  enemy  with  visible 
torment,  according  to  the  pointings  of  the  hand.1 

1  This  is  Bartholomae's  earlier  view;  he  now  gives  "fur  die  Du  o  Mazdah 
.  .  .  verleihen  wirst."     The  other  seems  to  me  much  easier  grammatically, 
and  sound  in  sense.     The  Prophet  declares  that  he  will  be  judge  at  the 
last  by  the  message  he  gives;  cf.  John  1248.     This  is  not  inconsistent  with 
the  supreme  Judgeship  of  Ahura.     See  p.  167  f. 

2  Bartholomae  in  his  translation  (p.  47)  takes  both  of  these  collectively, 
describing  the  pious  community.    In  AirWb,  864,  he  makes  "  the  holy  man  " 
Zarathushtra — less  probably,  I  think. 

3  As  elsewhere,  the  plural  includes  Mazdah  and  the  other  Ahuras. 

4  The  pairigaedd  is  "  the  place,  in  later  times  called  the  Treasury,  where 
good  deeds  are  stored  up  until  the  final  Reckoning"  (Bartholomae,  com 
paring  his  note  on  Ys  2811). 

5  Lit.  "at  the  adoring  those  of  your  company"  :   Bartholomae  (AirWb, 
1404)  says  "bei,  in  kausalem  Sinn." 

6  myazda,  an  offering  of   food,  as  distinguished  from  zaodra,  a  drink 

7  Reading  yd  for  yd,  with  Bartholomae. 

8  Lit.  "those  like  you  " — the  same  word  as  in  v.2  (note  3). 

9  The  ayah  x^usta,  flood  of  molten  metal :  see  p.  157. 

1  The  Bundahish  (3012)  says,  "  Afterwards  they  set  the  righteous  man 
apart  from  the  wicked."  The  separation  (cf.  the  "  Bridge  of  the  Separator  ") 
is  conceived  as  indicated  by  motion  of  the  Judge's  hand  pointing.  Yt  434 
may  show  that  the  "hand"  is  Mazdah' s,  as  we  should  expect. 


5.  Have   ye  Dominion   and   power,  O    Mazdah,  Right   and 
Good  Thought,  to  do  as  I  urge  upon  you,  even  to  protect  your 
poor  man  ?     We  have  renounced  all  robber-gangs,  both  demons 
and  men. 

6.  If  ye  are  truly  thus,  O  Mazdah,  Right  and  Good  Thought, 
then  give 1  me  this  token,  even  a  total  reversal  of  this  life,2 
that  I  may  come  before  you  again  more  joyfully  with  worship 
and  praise. 

7.  Can  they  be  true  to  thee,  O  Mazdah,  who  by  their  doctrine 
turn  the  known  inheritances  of  Good  Thought  into  misery  and 
woe  [  .  .  ]  3  ?     I  know  none  other  but  you,  O  Right :  so  do  ye 
protect  us. 

8.  For  by  these  actions  they  put  us  in  fear,  in  which  peril 
is  for  many — in  that  he  the  stronger  (puts  in  fear)  me  the 
weaker  one — through  hatred  of  thy  commandment,  O  Mazdah. 
They  that  will  not  have  the  Right  in  their  thought,  from  them 
shall  the  Good  Thought 4  be  far. 

9.  Those  men  of  evil  actions  who  spurn  the  holy  Piety,  precious 
to  thy  wise  one,  O  Mazdah,  through  their  having  no  part  in 
Good  Thought,  from  them  Right  shrinks  back  far,  as  from  us 
shrink  the  wild  beasts  of  prey. 

10.  The  man  of  understanding  has  promised  to  cling  to  the 
actions  of  this  Good  Thought,  and  to  the  holy  Piety,  creator, 
comrade  of  Right— wise  that  he  is,  and  to  all  the  hopes,  Ahura, 
that  are  in  thy  Dominion,  O  Mazdah. 

11.  And  both  thy  (gifts)  shall  be  for  sustenance,  even  Welfare 

1  Bartholomae  parses  data  as  2  pi.,  which  would  require  vlspam  maedam 
(a  very  slight  change)  in  the  next  line,  unless  there  is  anacoluthon. 

2  That  the  unseen  world  would  involve  an  avaa-rdreaa-is  of  the  conditions 
of  the  present  is  assumed  :  the  sorely  tried  Prophet  asks  for  some  token  of 
Divine  favour  here  and  now. 

3  uhuru  is   instr.    sing,    of    a  noun  which   Bartholomae  gives  up  as 
inexplicable.      Geldner    made    it    "energy,"    others    "intelligence,"    etc. 
Certainly  it  is  hard   to  defend   it  from  the  suspicion   of  complete  cor 
ruption.      The    whole   sentence  is   doubtful,   as    the    differences  of   the 
doctors  show. 

4  Here,  as  in  Ys  304,  Bartholomae  (AirWb,  1133)  would  make  mano  a 
different  word  (cognate  with  jueVo>,  maneo),  with  "Wohnstatt"  as  meaning. 
But  it  seems  very  unlikely  that  such  a  combination  as  vohu  mano  should 
have  an  alternative  meaning  ;  and   "  Good  Thought "  is  a  very  natural 
name  for  Paradise  :  see  p.  171. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  34  363 

and  Immortality.1  Piety  linked  with  Right  shall  advance  the 
Dominion  of  Good  Thought,  its 2  permanence  and  power.  By 
these,  O  Mazdah,  dost  thou  bless  the  foes  of  thy  foes.3 

12.  What  is  thine    ordinance  ?     What   wiliest  thou  ?   what 
of  praise  or  what  of  worship?     Proclaim  it,  Mazdah,  that  we 
may   hear  what   ordinances 4  Destiny 5  will  apportion.    Teach 
us  by  Right  the  paths  of  Good  Thought  that  are  blessed  to 
go  in — 

13.  even  that   way  of  Good  Thought,  O  Ahura,  of  which 
thou  didst  speak  to  me,  whereon,  a  way  well  made  by  Right, 
the  Selves  of  the  future  benefactors 6  shall  pass  to  the  reward 
that  was  prepared  for  the  wise,  of  which  thou  art  determinant, 
O  Mazdah. 

14.  That  precious  reward,  then,  O  Mazdah,  ye  will  give  by 
the  action  of  Good  Thought  to  the  bodily  life  of  those  who 
are   in    the   community  that    tends7    the   pregnant   cow,  (the 
promise  of)  your  good  doctrine,  Ahura,  that  of  the  wisdom 
which  exalts  communities  through  Right. 

15.  0  Mazdah,  make  known  to  me  the  best  teachings  and 
actions,  these,  O    Good  Thought,  and,   O   Right,  the  due  of 
praise.      Through    your   Dominion,   O   Ahura,  assure  us  that 
mankind  shall  be  capable  8  according  to  (thy)  will. 

1  Bartholomae  (with  the  Pahlavi)  renders  "  der  Wohlfahrtstrank  und  die 
Unsterblichkeitsspeise,"  ambrosia  and  nectar,  which  is  likely  enough. 

2  Or  the  "  permanence  and  power "  (utayuiti  tsvisi)  may  be  that  of  the 
beatified  :  there  is  no  pronoun. 

3  So  Bartholomae,  but  his  bold  explanation  of  Owoi  as  an  infin.  from  a 
verbal  root  with  no  known  cognates  ("  Etym.? "  AirWb,  798)  seems  to  rest  on 
slender  foundations.     (Still,  I  might  suggest  that  a  root  Owd  is  an  obviously 
paralleled  by-form  for  tav,  with  the  meaning  auger e.)     His  explanation  of 
vldvaesqm  (for  -anham — see  AirWb,  1446)  as  "  anti-enemy  "  is  supported  by 
Skt  vidvesas.     But  it  must  be  noted  that  this  is  one  of  a  great  many  places 
where  Bartholomae  stands  alone. 

*  .Razcmhere  means  the  final  judgement  of  weal  or  woe  :  at  the  beginning 
of  the  stanza  it  may  be  more  general. 

6  ASi,  a  yazata  in   Later    Avesta   resembling  the   Latin   Fortuna.     In 
Ys  314  she  is  closely  linked  with  Aramaiti.     Cf.  note  on  Ys  3313. 

8  SaoSyantam.     On  daena,  "  ego,"  see  p.  263  f. 

7  Lit.  "  of." 

8  fraSam,  the  word  that  forms  the  (later)  abstract  frafOfontl,  the  Ke- 


Yasna  43 

1.  To  each  several  man,  to  whom  may  Mazdah  Ahura  ruling 
at  his  will l  grant  after  the  (petitioner's)  will,1  I  will  after  his 
will1  that  he  attain  permanence  and  power,2  lay  hold  of  Right3 
— grant  me  this,  O  Piety, — the  destined  gifts4  of  wealth,  the 
life  of  the  Good  Thought ; 

2.  and  it  shall  be  for  him  the  best 5  of  all  things.     After  his 
longing  for  bliss  may  one  be  given  bliss,6  through  thy  provident 
most  holy  spirit,  O  Mazdah,  even  the  blessings  of  Good  Thought 
which  thou  wilt  give  through  Right  all  the  days  with  joy  of 
enduring  life.7 

3.  May  he8  attain  to  that  which  is  better  than  good,  who 
would  teach  us  the  straight  paths  to  blessedness  in  this  life  here 
of  body  and  in  that  of  thought — true  paths  that  lead  to  the 
world  where  Ahura  dwells — a  faithful  man,  well-knowing  and 
holy  like  thee,  O  Mazdah.9 

4.  Then  shall l  I  recognise  thee  as  strong  and  holy,  Mazdah, 
when  by  the  hand 2  in  which  thou  thyself  dost  hold  the  destinies 
that  thou  wilt  assign  to  the  Liar  and  the  Righteous,  by  the 
glow  of  thy  Fire  whose  power  is   Right,  the   might  of  Good 
Thought  shall  come  to  me. 

1  There  is  intentional  repetition  of  ustd  (bis)  and  vast,  both  from  the 
root  vas  (Skt  vap,  Gk  eit<S>vt  etc.),  and  meaning  the  same. 

2  Eschatological  (cf.  Ys  3411),  as  are  the  remaining  phrases  :  eternal  life 
and  strength  in  Paradise  is  meant. 

3  ASa  here  means  virtually  Paradise,  as  the  final  abode  of  the  Ideal. 

4  asl$ :  on  this  see  Ys  3412  and  note. 

6  VahiSta  became  in  Middle  Persian  (as  in  the  Turfan  MSS.)  the  special 
name  for  Paradise. 

6  xva0ra,  lit.  "  good  breathing  "  (Bartholomae),  like  ava-jrvoi]. 

1  Darago  •jyditi,  "  long  life,"  means  "  everlasting,"  as  does  vispd  aydri, 

"  irdffas  rcU  ^/uepos." 

8  The  community  may  be  supposed  to  speak  of  their  Prophet,  whether 
or  no  he  himself  is  author  here.     Note  that  he  speaks  in  the  first  person 
till  v.16. 

9  On  this  characteristic  division  of  existence  into  corporeal  and  spiritual, 
which  cuts  horizontally  the  other  division  into  good  and  evil,  see  p.  292. 

1  An  anticipation  of  the  End  introduces  a  series  of  visions  in  which  the 
Prophet  has  recognised  the  attributes  of  Mazdah  ;  note  the  change  of  tense. 

2  See  Ys  344  and  note. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  43  365 

5.  As  the  holy  one  I  recognised  thee,  Mazdah  Ahura,  when  I 
saw1  thee  in  the  beginning  at  the  birth  of  Life,  when   thou 
madest  actions  and  words  to  have  their  meed — evil  for  the  evil, 
a  good  Destiny  for  the  good — through  thy  wisdom  when  creation 
shall  reach  its  goal.2 

6.  At  which  goal  thou  wilt  come  with    thy  holy  Spirit,  O 
Mazdah,  with  Dominion,  at  the  same  with  Good  Thought,  by 
whose    action    the   settlements3    will    prosper   through    Right. 
Their  judgements4   shall    Piety    proclaim,  even    those   of  thy 
wisdom  which  none  can  deceive. 

7.  As   the    holy    one    I    recognised    thee,    Mazdah    Ahura, 
when  Good  Thought  came  to  me  and  asked   me,  "  Who  art 
thou  ?  to  whom  dost  thou  belong  ?     By  what  sign  wilt  thou 5 
appoint  the   days    for  questioning  about  thy  possessions  and 

8.  Then  I  said  to  him  :  "  To  the  first  (question),  Zarathushtra 
am  I,  a  true  foe  to  the  Liar,  to  the  utmost  of  my  power,  but  a 
powerful  support  would  I  be  to    the    Righteous,  that    I    may 
attain  the  future  things  of  the  infinite  6  Dominion,  according  as 
I  praise  and  sing 7  thee,  Mazdah. 

9.  As  the  holy  one  I  recognised  thee,  Mazdah  Ahura,  when 
Good  Thought  came  to  me.     To  his  question,  "  For  which  wilt 

1  "  In  vision,"   Geldner  and    Bartholomae.      It   is  strange   that  Tiele 
(Religionsg.,  100)  should  have  inferred  that  for  the  writer  Zarathushtra  is  a 
saint  of  the  dim   past.     On   such   rickety  foundations  are   mythological 
theories  based  ! 

2  Lit.  "at  the  last  turning-point  of  creation" —  the frasdkarsti. 

3  GaeBa,  "  Haus  und    Hof,"   Bartholomae :    so   Mills  and   the   Pahlavi. 
Geldner,  "  die  Leute." 

4  Aeibyd  Bartholomae  takes  as  ablative,  referring  back  to  the  ahuras  just 
named.      Geldner    would    take    ratuS    in    its    regular    personal    sense — 
Bartholomae  gives  no  other  ex.  for  indicium — and  renders  "Diesen  (den 
frommen   Menschen)  proklamiert  Armaiti  die  geistlichen   Herren  deines 

6  So  Bartholomae,  parsing  dlSCi  as  2  sg.  aor.  mid.  from  does.     Geldner 
makes  it  1  sg.  (act.  subj.). 

6  vasasa-xSadra :  so  Bartholomae,  making  it  a  compound,  lit.  "  sovranty 
at  will."     Geldner  separates  vasasa  and  renders  "  nach  meinem  Wunsch." 

7  vaf,  properly  to  "  weave,"  used  of  the  artistic  fitting  together  of  words 
— cf.  fra-nrtiv  aoiSrii/.     The  word  is  interesting  from   its  suggestion  of  a 
poetical  tradition,  first  cousin  to  the  Vedic. 


thou  decide  ?  "  (I  made  reply),  "  At  the  gift  of  adoration  to  thy 
Fire,  I  will  bethink  me  of  Right  so  long  as  I  have  power. 

10.  Then  show  me  Right,  upon  whom  I  call."" 

Mazdah. — "  Associating  him l  with  Piety,  I  have  come  hither. 
Ask  us  now  what  things  we  are  here  for  thee  to  ask.  For  thine 
asking  is  as  that  of  a  mighty  one,  since  he  that  is  able  should 
make  thee  as  a  mighty  one  possessed  of  thy  desire." 

11.  As  the  holy  one  I  recognised  thee,  Mazdah  Ahura,  when 
Good  Thought  came  to  me,  when  first  by  your  words   I  was 
instructed.     Shall  it  bring  me  sorrow  among  men,  my  devotion, 
in  doing  that  which  ye  tell  me  is  the  best  ? 

12.  And  when  thou  saidst  to  me,  "  To  Right  shalt  thou  go 
for  teaching,"  then  thou  didst  not  command  what  I  did  not 
obey :    "  Speed   thee,2   ere    my    Obedience 3  come,  followed  by 
treasure-laden  Destiny,  who  shall  render  to  men  severally  the 
destinies  of  the  twofold  award." 

13.  As  the  holy  one  I  recognised  thee,  Mazdah  Ahura,  when 
Good  Thought  came  to  me  to  learn  the  state   of   my  desire. 
Grant  it  me,  that  which  none  may  compel  you  to  allow,  (the 
wish)  for  long  continuance  of  blessed  existence  that  they  say  is 
in  thy  Dominion. 

14.  If  thy  provident  aid,  such  as  an  understanding  man  who 
has  the  power  would  give  to  his  friend,  comes  to  me  by  thy 
Dominion   through  Right,  then    to   set    myself  in    opposition 
against  the  foes  of  thy  Law,  together  with  all  those  who  are 
mindful  of  thy  words  ! 

15.  As  the  holy  one  I  recognised  thee,  Mazdah  Ahura,  when 
Good  Thought  came  to  me,  when  the  still  mind  taught  me  to 
declare  what  is  best 4  :  "  Let  not  a  man  seek  again  and  again  to 
please  the  Liars,  for  they  make  all  the  righteous  enemies."5 

16.  And  thus  Zarathushtra  himself,  O  Ahura,  chooses  that 

1  Lit.  "  it,"  for  Asa  is  neuter. 

2  To  the  work  of  propaganda.     Bartholomae  observes,  "  The  renovation 
(Tauglichmachung)  of  mankind   must   be  accomplished  speedily,  for  the 
beginning  of  the  Second   Life   is  conceived  as  near  at  hand :  cf.  Matt. 
32,  417."     See  p.  159. 

3  SraoSa,  later  associated  with  the   Amshaspands.     He  is   an  angel  of 
Judgement :  see  p.  169. 

4  vahiStd  might  be  an   epithet   of  tusndmaitis  (which   seems  to  be  a 
conscious  parallel  to  Aramaiti),  but  the  other  is  better.  °  angra. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  43,  44  367 

spirit  of  thine  that  is  holiest,  Mazdah.  May  Right  be  embodied, 
full  of  life  and  strength !  May  Piety  abide  in  the  Dominion 
where  the  sun  shines !  May  Good  Thought  give  destiny  to  men 
according  to  their  works  ! 

1.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura — as  to  prayer,  how 
it  should  be  to  one  of  you.1     O  Mazdah,  might  one  like  thee l 
teach  it  to  his  friend  such  as  I  am,1  and  through  friendly  Right 
give  us  support,  that  Good  Thought  may  come  unto  us. 

2.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell    me    truly,  Ahura — whether  at  the 
beginning  of  the  Best  Existence   the  recompenses  shall  bring 
blessedness  to  him  that  meets  with  them.     Surely  he,  O  Right, 
the  holy  one,  who  watches  in  his  spirit  the  transgression  of  all, 
is  himself  the  benefactor  unto  all  that  lives,  O  Mazdah.2 

3.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura.     Who  is  by  genera 
tion  the  Father  of  Right,  at  the  first?    Who  determined  the  path 
of  sun  and  stars  ?     Who  is  it  by  whom  the  moon  waxes  and 
wanes  again?     This,  O  Mazdah,  and  yet  more,  I  am  fain  to  know. 

4.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura.     Who  upheld  the 
earth  beneath  and    the   firmament    from    falling  ?      Who   the 
waters  and  the  plants  ?     Who  yoked  swiftness   to  winds   and 
clouds  ?     Who  is,  O  Mazdah,  creator  of  Good  Thought  ? 

5.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura.     What  artist  made 
light  and   darkness  ? 3     What  artist  made  sleep  and  waking  ? 
Who  made  morning,  noon,  and  night,  that  call  the  understand 
ing  man  to  his  duty  ? 

6.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura — whether  what  I  shall 
proclaim  is  verily  the  truth.     Will  Right  with  its  actions  give 
aid  (at  the  last)  ?  will  Piety  ?     Will  Good  Thought  announce 
from  thee  the   Dominion  ?     For    whom    hast  thou    made   the 
pregnant  cow 4  that  brings  good  luck  ? 

7.  This  I  ask    thee,   tell    me    truly,    Ahura.     Who   created 

1  On  tliese  words  \smavant,  eivdvant,  mavant,  which  may  mean  nearly 
the  same  as  the  pronoun  without  the  possessive  suffix,  see  note  on  p.  359. 

2  I  have  attempted  a  rimed  version  of  these  two  stanzas  as  an  experiment 
in  ERPP,  102  f. 

3  On  this  striking  contrast  to  the  Magian  dualism,  see  p.  291. 

4  "  In  Zarathushtra's  teaching  the  symbol  of  good  fortune  :  cf.   Ys  473, 
502"  (Bartholomae). 


together  with  Dominion  the  precious  Piety?  Who  made  by 
wisdom  the  son  obedient  to  his  father  ?  I  strive  to  recognise 
by  these  things  thee,  O  Mazdah,  creator  of  all  things  through 
the  holy  spirit. 

8.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura.     I  would  keep  in 
mind  thy  design,  O  Mazdah,  and  understand  aright  the  maxims 
of  life  which  I  ask  of  Good  Thought  and  Right.     How  will  my 
soul  partake  of  the  good  that  gives  increase  ? 

9.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura — whether  for  the 
Self1  that  I  would  bring  to   perfection,  that  of  the   man  of 
insight,  the  Lord  of  the  Dominion  would  make  me  promises  of 
the  sure  Dominion,  one  of  thy  likeness,2  O  Mazdah,  who  dwells 
in  one  abode 3  with  Good  Thought. 

10.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura.     The  Religion4 
which  is  the  best  for  (all)  that  are,  which  in  union  with  Right 
should  prosper  all  that  is  mine,  will  they  duly  observe  it,  the 
religion  of  my  creed,  with  the  words  and  action   of  Piety,  in 
desire  for  thy  (future)  good  things,  O  Mazdah  ? 

11.  This  I  ask   thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura — whether  Piety 
will  extend  to  those  to  whom  thy  Religion 4  shall  be  proclaimed : 
I  was  ordained  at  the  first  by  thee :  all  others  I  look  upon  with 
hatred  of  spirit. 

12.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura.    Who  among  thost 
with  whom  I  would  speak  is  a  righteous  man,  and  who  a  liar  ? ; 
On  which  side  is  the  enemy  ? 6     (On  this),  or  is  he  the  enemy 
the  Liar 5  who  opposes  thy  blessings  ? 7     How  shall  it  be  with 
him  ?     Is  he  not  to  be  thought  of  as  an  enemy  ? 

13.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura — whether  we  shal 

1  Daena  :  see  p.  263  f.     Bartholomae  notes,  as  important  for  the  conneiioi 
with  the  "  soul  "  of  v.8,  that  daena  also  means  "  religion,"  as  it  does  in  v.10. 

2  dwdvant :  see  note  on  p.  359. 

3  Hadam.     The  Greek  tru^/So^os  suggests  itself,  and  Strabo's  mentior 
(p.  512)  of  rJ>  TTJS  'AvoiViSoj  Kal  TUV  avfa^tajJ-uv  Oeuv  lepbv  .  .  .  'Hfj.dvov  Kal  'AvaSaroi 
nepa-iKcai/    Saipdvuv.      Two    Amshaspands    accordingly    were    a-v /x/foftoi  ii 
Cappadocia,  in  a  shrine  of  Anahita.     The  point  is  discussed  above,  p.  100  f 

4  Daena  :  see  note  on  v.9. 

5  Of  course  in  the  technical  sense,  following  the  Druj  instead  of  Ah. 

6  angra,  which  Dr  Casartelli  (p.  137  n.  above)  would  like  to  keep  as  ai 
allusion  to  Ahriman.     Geldner  renders  "Art  thou  thyself  the  enemy,  o 
is  he  .  .  .  ?"     See  p.  135  n.  7  Those  of  the  future  life. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  44  369 

drive  the  Lie  away  from  us  to  those  who  being  full  of  dis 
obedience  will  not  strive  after  fellowship  with  Right,  nor  trouble 
themselves  with  counsel  of  Good  Thought. 

14.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura — whether  I  could 
put  the  Lie  into  the  hands  of  Right,  to  cast  her  down  by  the 
words  of  thy  lore,  to  work  a    mighty  destruction  among   the 
Liars,  to  bring  torments  upon  them  and  enmities,  O  Mazdah. 

15.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura — if  thou  hast  power 
over  this  to  ward  it  off  from  me  through  Right,  when  the  two 
opposing  hosts l  meet  in  battle  according  to  those  decrees  which 
thou  wilt  firmly  establish.     Whether   is  it  of  the  twain    that 
;thou  wilt  give  victory  ? 

16.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura.     Who  is  victorious 
to  protect  by  thy  doctrine  (all)  that  are  ?     By  vision  assure  me 
how  to  set  up  the  judge  that  heals  the  world.2     Then  let  him 
have   Obedience  coming  with  Good  Thought  unto  every  man 
whom  thou  desirest,  O  Mazdah. 

17.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura — whether  through 
you  I  shall  attain  my  goal,  O  Mazdah,  even  attachment  unto 
you,  and  that  my   voice  may  be  effectual,   that  Welfare  and 
Immortality  may  be  ready  to  unite  according  to  that  promise 
with  him  who  joins  himself  with  Right. 

18.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura — whether  I  shall 
ndeed,  0  Right,  earn  that  reward,  even  ten  mares  with  a  stallion 
md  a  camel,3  which  was  promised  to  me,  O  Mazdah,  as  well  as 
through  thee  the  future  gift  of  Welfare  and  Immortality. 

19.  This  I  ask  thee,  tell  me  truly,  Ahura.     He  that  will  not 
*ive  that  reward  to  him  that  earns  it,  even  to  the  man  who 
ulfilling  his  word  gives  him  (what  he  undertook) — what  penalty 
•hall  come  to  him  for  the  same  at  this  present  ?     I  know  that 
vhich  shall  come  to  him  at  the  last. 

1  spadd  (cf.  M.P.  sipah,  whence  our  sepoy),  the  hosts  of  Mazdayasnians 
-nd  Daevayasnians ;  or  perhaps   rather  the  spiritual  forces  in  the  great 
Armageddon  that  precedes  the  Renovation. 

2  This  seems  to  be  Zarathushtra  himself — he  is  praying  for  a  vision  that 
nay  openly  confirm  his  designation  as  a  prophet. 

3  See  p.  155.     It  is  sufficiently  obvious  that  this  is  a  touch  of  reality, 
nough  to  reduce  to  absurdity  any  theory  that  makes  these  Gathas  move  in 
he  sphere  of  the  mystical  and  the  mythical  alone. 


20.  Have  the  Daevas  ever  exercised  good  dominion  ?  And 
this  I  ask  of  those  who  see  how  for  the  Daevas1  sake  the 
Karapan  and  the  Usij  1  gave  the  cattle  to  violence,2  and  how 
the  Kavi l  made  them  continually  to  mourn,  instead  of  taking 
care  3  that  they  may  make  the  pastures  prosper  through  Right. 

Yasna  45 

1.  I  will  speak  forth:  hear  now  and  hearken  now,  ye  from 
near  and  ye  from  far  that  desire  (instruction).     Now  observe 
him  4  in  your  mind,  all  of  you,  for  he  is  revealed.     Never  shall 
the  false  Teacher  destroy  the  Second  Life,5  the  Liar,  in  perversion 
by  his  tongue  unto  evil  belief. 

2.  I  will  speak  of  the  Spirits  twain  at  the  first  beginning  of 
the    world,6  of  whom    the  holier  thus  spake   to  the   enemy : 7 
"  Neither  thought  nor  teachings  nor  wills  nor  beliefs  nor  words 
nor  deeds  nor  selves  8  nor  souls  of  us  twain  agree." 

3.  I  will  speak  of  that  which  Mazdah  Ahura,  the  all-knowing, 
revealed  to  me  first  in  this  (earthly)  life.9     Those  of  you  that 
put  not  in  practice  this  word  as  I  think  and  utter  it,  to  them 
shall  be  woe  at  the  end  of  life. 

1  See  above,  pp.  140,  357.  2  aeSma — see  p.  130. 

3  This  rendering  of  Bartholomae's  involves  the  making  of  a  new  verb  ' 
maez,  for  which  the  lexicographer  can  give  no  parallel  nearer  than  the 
Middle  High  German  smeichen  "schon  tun."       I   am   strongly  tempted 
by  Prof.  Sdderblom's   argument  (RHR,   1909,  p.  334  f.),  but  neither  In 
nor  Prof.  Geldner  (Lesebuch,  325)  seems  altogether  to  solve  the  difficult} 
of  getting  the  ordinary  root,  maez  (mingere — Skt  meh},  to  work  in  here 
are  we  to  think  of  liquid  manure  ? 

4  The  absence  of  indication  who  is  meant  may  possibly  be  put  dowr 
with  the  signs  that  the  Gathas  have  a  context  that  is  lost.     Geldner  under 
stands  the  false  teacher  to  be  intended,  Bartholomae  Ahura  Mazdah :  th< 
former  seems  to  be  more  probable. 

5  The  Future  Life.     It  is  possible  also  to  render  "  never  again  shall  hi 
destroy  life  "  (so  Geldner). 

6  anhmS,  the  word  rendered  "  life  "  in  v.1. 

7  anrdin  :  this  is  the  one  occurrence  of  the  afterwards  stereotyped  title  ii 
the  Gathas  :  see  p.  135. 

8  Daend  :  see  note  on  Ys  449. 

9  Geldner,  "  as  first  (most  important)  in  this  life"  ;  Bartholomae,  "at  th 
beginning  of  this  life,"  which  matches  the  use  elsewhere,  but  only  suits  th 
context  if  it  means  that  the  revelation  concerns  the  immediate  present. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  44,  45  371 

4.  I  will  speak  of  what  is  best l  for  this  life.  Through  Right 
doth  Mazdah  know  it,2  who  created  the  same  as  father  of  the 
active  Good  Thought,  and  the  daughter  thereof  is  Piety  of 
goodly  action.  Not  to  be  deceived  is  the  all-seeing  Ahura. 

,'i.  I  will  speak  of  that  which  the  Holiest  declared  to  me  as 
the  word  that  is  best  for  mortals  to  obey  :  he,  Mazdah  Ahura 
(said),  "  They  who  at  my  bidding  render  him  3  obedience,  shall 
all  attain  unto  Welfare  and  Immortality  by  the  actions  of  the 
Good  Spirit." 

6.  I  will  speak  of  him  that  is  greatest  of  all,  praising  him, 
0  Right,  who  is  bounteous  to  all  that  live.     By  the  holy  spirit 
let  Mazdah  Ahura  hearken,  in  whose  adoration  I  have  been 
instructed  by  Good  Thought.     By  his  wisdom  let  him  teach  me 
what  is  best, 

7.  even  he  whose  two  awards,  whereof  he  ordains,  men  shall 
attain,  whoso  are  living  or  have  been  or  shall  be.     In  immortality4 
shall  the  soul  of  the  righteous  be  joyful,  in  perpetuity  shall  be 
the   torments  of  the    Liars.      All    this    doth   Mazdah    Ahura 
appoint  by  his  Dominion. 

8.  Him  thou   shouldst  seek  to    bring  to    us    by  praises  of 
worship.     "  Now  have  I  seen  it  with  mine  eye,  that  which  is  of 
the  good  spirit  and  of  (good)  action  and  word,  knowing  by 
Right  Mazdah   Ahura."     May   we    offer   him    homage  in   the 
House  of  Song ! 

9.  Him  thou  shouldst  seek  to  propitiate  for  us  together  with 
Good  Thought,  who  at  his  will  maketh  us  weal  or  woe.     May 
Mazdah  Ahura  by  his  Dominion  bring  us  to  work,  for  prospering 

1  The  Pahlavi  characteristically  glosses  this  as  the  next-of-kin  marriage  ! 
We  can  safely  assume  that  the  vahiStam  is  the  good  doctrine  of  agriculture 
as  practical  virtue. 

2  Both  Geldner  and  Bartholomae  render  "  I  have  learnt  it,  0  Mazdah," 
reading  Mazda.     But  there  seems  no  gain  in  bringing  in  the  address.     What 
we  seem  to  need  here  is  an  accus.  Mazdam  (cf.  Mills,  Gathas,  p.  541),  which 
would  enable  us  to  recognise  Mazdah  as  the  "  Father  "  of  Vohu  Manah  and 
Aramaiti,  as  regularly  in  later  times.     The  MSS.  waver  between  Mazda 
and  Mazda  (nom.).     With  Mazdam  we  should  render  :  "Through  Right  I 
know  Mazdah,  who  created  it  [sc.  this  best  thing  in  life],  as  father  of  the 
active  Good  Thought,  and  his  daughter  is  Aramaiti." 

3  Zarathushtra. 

4  Ammtditi :  Bartholomae  renders  "  in  eternity,"  as  in  Ys  481 :  see  p.  1 73. 


our  beasts  and  our  men,  so  that  we  may  through  Right  have 
familiarity  with  Good  Thought. 

10.  Him  thou  shouldst  seek  to  exalt  with  prayers  of  Piety, 
him  that  is  called  Mazdah  Ahura1  for  ever,  for  that  he  hath 
promised   through   his   own    Right   and   Good   Thought   that 
Welfare  and  Immortality  shall  be  in  his  Dominion,2  strength 
and  perpetuity  in  his  house. 

11.  Whoso   therefore    in    the  future   lightly    esteemeth   the 
Daevas  and  those  mortals  who  lightly  esteem  him3 — even  all 
others  save  that  one  who  highly  esteemeth  him, — unto  him  shall 
the  holy  Self  of  the  future  deliverer,4  as  Lord  of  the  house,  be 
friend,  brother,  or  father,  O  Mazdah  Ahura. 

Yasna  46 

1.  To  what  land  shall  I  go  to  flee,  whither  to  flee  ?     From 
nobles  and  my  peers  they  sever  me,  nor  are  the  people 6  pleased 
with  me  [  .  .  .6  ],  nor  the  Liar  rulers  of  the  land.     How  am  I 
to  please  thee,  Mazdah  Ahura  ? 

2.  I  know  wherefore  I  am  without  success,  Mazdah  :  (because) 
few  cattle  are  mine,  and  for  that  I  have  but  few  folk.     I  cry 
unto  thee,  see  thou  to  it,  Ahura,  granting  me  support  as  friend 
gives  to  friend.     Teach  me  by  the  Right  the  acquisition 7  of 
Good  Thought. 

1  "Wise  Lord" — the  title  needs  translating. 

2  All  the  Amshaspands  are  named  here,  and  in  marked  dependence  on 
Ahura.     Note,  however,  that  the  dvandva  hvlsl  utayuiti  (p.  114)  in  the  last 
line  is  exactly  parallel  with  haurvatdta  amarstdtd,  a  similar  pair  of  duals, 
in   the  line  above,  nor   is   there   any   real   difference  between  Mazdah's 
" Dominion "  and  his  "House."     So  the  Amshaspands  are  no  closed  com 
munity.     See  above,  p.  96  f.  3  See  v.6 

4  Saosyant,  that  is  Zarathushtra  himself,  in  that  he  believed  he  would  in 
his  own  lifetime  bring  the  eschatological  Renovation.      Note  the  curious 
verbal  parallel  to  Mark  335,  with  dmg  pati  (  =  5t<nr6rr)s)  recalling  Matt.  132' 
and  20.1     Of.  notes  in  ERPP,  106  f. 

5  These  are  the  three  social  divisions  :  see  p.  117  f. 

6  The  word  hacd  is  corrupt  and  has  not  been  successfully  emended.    I 
seems  to  have  disappeared  before  the  Pahlavi  translation,  in  which  it  i 

7  Utlm.  Geldner,  "  Streben  nach,"  which  is  attractive,  connecting  it  wit! 
Izd.    Bartholomae  understands  it  as  a  prayer  that  Paradise  may  be  revealec 
so  as  to  spur  men  to  good  life  :  he  compares  Ys  286,  304,  313,  4410,  476,  482. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  45,  46  373 

3.  When,  Ma/dah,  shall  the  sunrisings x  come  forth  for  the 
world's  winning  of  Right,  through  the  powerful  teachings  of 
the  wisdom  of  the  future  Deliverers  ?  2     Who  are  they  to  whose 
help  Good  Thought  shall  come  ?  3  I  have  faith  that  thou  wilt 
thyself  fulfil  this  for  me,  O  Ahura. 

4.  The  Liar  stays  the  supporters  of  Right  from  prospering 
the  cattle  in  district  and  province,  infamous  that  he  is,  repellant 
by  his  actions.     Whoso,  Mazdah,  robs  him  of  dominion  or  of 
life,  he  shall  go  before  and  prepare  the  ways  of  the  good  belief.4 

5.  If  an  understanding  man  should  be  able  to  hold  one  who 
comes  over  from  his  vow  and  his  ties  of  faith,5  himself  having 
brought  him  thereto,  and  living  after  the  ordinance,  a  righteous 
man  (converting)  a  Liar — then  shall  he  tell  it  to  the  nobles, 
that  they  may  protect  him  from  injury,  O  Mazdah  Ahura.6 

6.  But  whoso  when  thus  approached  should  refuse  his  aid, 
he  shall  go  to  the  abodes  of  the  company  of  the  Lie.     For  he 
is  himself  a  Liar  who  is  very  good  to  a  Liar,  he  is  a  righteous 
man  to  whom  a  righteous  man  is  dear  ;  since  thou  createdst 
men's  Selves  in  the  beginning,7  Ahura. 

7.  Whom,  O  Mazdah,  can  one  appoint  as  protector  for  one 
like  me,  when  the  Liar  sets  himself  to  injure  me,  other  than 

1  A  difficult  word,  as  to  which  Bartholomae  has  now  (Zum  AirWb,  145  f.) 
changed  his  view,  in  consequence  of  a  criticism  by  Justi  (Indog.  Forsch. 
Anzeiger,  xviii.  21).     Eeturning  to  an  old  suggestion  of  his  own,  he  regards 
a&i<jm  ux$an  as  influenced  by  hu  vax$a  "sunrise,"  from  a  transitive  sense  of 
vax$,  "  der  die  Tage  emporsteigen  lasst,"  a  description  of  the  Dawn.     Justi 
translates  with  the   Pahlavi    "increasers  of  the  days,"  referring   to   the 
SaoSyanto.      Bartholomae  objects  that  in  Ys  5010  the  same  phrase  must 
apply  to  the  dawn. 

2  See  n.6  on  previous  page. 

3  Both  lines  concern  the  "  Future  Deliverers,"  that  is,  in  Zarathushtra's 
thought,  himself  and  his  comrades  in  the  work  of  the  Faith. 

4  Bartholomae  observes  that  this  is  a  hint  to  Vishtaspa  that  he  should 
wage  war  with  the  Daevayasnian  chiefs.     If  so,  we  have  presumably  passed 
the  point  in  this  certainly  composite  hymn  where  the  conditions  of  the 
opening  apply.     There  the  Prophet  is  helpless  and  friendless :  the  royal 
convert  has  not  yet  been  won,  as  he  clearly  has  been  in  v.14. 

5  mieroibyo — the  sole  occurrence  of  the  word  miQra  in  the  Gathas,  in  the 
sense  "  compact"  which  is  common  later.     See  p.  63. 

8  Here  accordingly  it  is  assumed  that  the  x»aetu  (see  on  v.1)  is  on  the  side 
of  the  Faith  :  cf.  note  on  v.4. 
7  Cf.  Ys  31",  and  p.  263  above. 


thy  Fire  and  thy  Thought,1  through  the  actions  of  which  twain 
the  Right  will  come  to  maturity,  O  Ahura  ?  In  this  lore  2  do 
thou  instruct  my  very  Self. 

8.  Whoso  is  minded  to  injure  my  possessions,  from  his  actions 
may  no  harm  come  to  me  !     Back  upon  himself  may  they  come 
with  hostility,  against  his  own  person,  all  the  hostile  (acts),  to 
keep  him  far  from  the  Good  Life,  Mazdah,  not  from  the  ill  ! 

9.  Who  is  it,  a  faithful  man  he,  who  first  taught  that  we 
honour  thee  as  mightiest  to  help,  as  the  holy  righteous  Lord  3 
over  action  ?  What  thy  Right  made  known,  what  the  Ox-creator4 
made  known  to  Right,  they  would  fain  hear  through  thy  Good 

10.  W'hoso,  man  or  woman,  doeth  what  thou,  Mazdah  Ahura, 
knowest  as  best  in  life,  as  destiny  for  what  is  Right  (give  him) 
the    Dominion  through    Good  Thought.     And   those  whom  I 
impel  to  your  adoration,5  with  all  these  will  I  cross  the  Bridge 
of  the  Separater.6 

11.  By  their  dominion  the  Karapans  and  Kavis  7  accustomed 
mankind  to  evil  actions,  so  as  to  destroy  Life.     Their  own  soul 
and  their  own  self  shall  torment  them  8  when  they  come  where 
the  Bridge  of  the  Separater  is,  to  all  time  dwellers  in  the  House 
of  the  Lie. 

12.  When  among  the  laudable  descendants  and  posterity  of  the 
Turanian  Fryana  9  the  Right  ariseth,  through  activity  of  Piety 

Thought"  is  the  same  as   "Good"   or    "Best  Thought,"  the 
Amshaspand  :  see  p.  97.     Note  the  close  linking  of  Atar  and  Vohumanah. 

2  dastvd,  whence  the  Modern  Persian  dast,  that  gives  the  title  Dastur. 

3  Ahur»m,  which  here  must  be  translated. 

4  On  gang  taSan,  see  p.  347. 

6  xsnidvatam,  "  those  like  you  (Ahuras)  "  :  see  p.  359. 

6  See  p.  164  f. 

7  See  p.  357. 

8  See  p.  263  f. 

9  The  Turanians  became  the  traditional  enemies  of  Iran  :  such  names  a; 
Franrasyan  (Afrasiab)  and  Arjat-aspa  (Arjasp)  are  noted  in  the  epics  oi 
Iranian  saga.     The  hostility  was  one  of   culture  and   religion,  betweei: 
Mazdah   and  the  Daevas,  between  agriculturists  and  nomads.     Fryana  is 
proof  that  individuals  might  cross  over  :  his  clan  is  heard  of  in  the  Latei 
Avesta  in  terms  agreeing  with  this  stanza.    Of.  West  in  SEE,  xxxvii.  280 
Bartholomae  calls  Tura  "  an  Iranian  tribe  outside  Vishtaspa's  dominion,  no) 
yet  converted,  but  not  hostile  to  the  new  faith  "  —  that  is  in  Gathic  times. 

THE   GATHAS  —  Ys  46  375 

that  blesseth  substance ;  then  shall  Good  Thought  admit  them, 
and  Mazdah  Ahura  give  them  protection  at  the  Fulfilment.1 

13.  Whoso  among  mortals  has  pleased  Spitama  Zarathushtra 
by  his  willingness,  a  man  deserving  to  have  good  fame,  to  him  shall 
Mazdah  Ahura  give  Life, to  him  shall  Good  Thought  increase  sub 
stance,  him  we  account  to  be  a  familiar  friend  with  your  Right. 

14.  Mazdah. — O    Zarathushtra,  what  righteous  man  is  thy 
friend  for  the  great  covenant  ? 2  Who  wills  to  have  good  fame  ? 

Zarathushtra. — It  is  the  Kavi 3  Vishtaspa  at  the  Consumma 
tion.4  Those  whom  thou  wilt  unite  in  one  house  with  thee, 
these  will  I  call  with  words  of  Good  Thought. 

15.  Ye  Haecataspa  Spitamas,5  of  you  will  I  declare  that  ye 
can  discern  6  the  wise  and  the  unwise  [  .  .  .  a  line  lost  .  .  .  ]. 
Through  these  actions  ye  inherit  Right  according  to  the  primeval 
laws  of  Ahura. 

16.  Frashaoshtra  Hvogva,7  go  thou  thither  with  those  faithful 
whom  we  both  8  desire  to  be  in  blessedness,  where  Right  is  united 
with  Piety,  where  the  Dominion  is  in  the  possession  of  Good 
Thought,  where  Mazdah  Ahura  dwells  to  give  it  increase.9 

1  awT(\eia,  the  Regeneration. 

2  Apparently  a  term  for  the  "Bund  "of  the  Zarathushtrian  community. 
But  see  Carnoy,  as  summarised  in  the  note  on  Ys  2911. 

3  The  title  has  a  curious  double  use,  denoting  also  (see  note  on  Ys  3214) 
chiefs  of  the  Daevayasna.     We  must  assume  that  it  got  its  sinister  meaning 
because  Vishtaspa  stood  alone  among  princes  to  whom  the  title  belonged. 

4  As  Qeldner  notes,  this  dialogue  is  supposed  to  take  place  at  the  Great 
Day,  when  Zarathushtra  answers  for  those  with  whom  he  has  crossed  the 
Bridge  (v.10). 

6  Haecat-aspa  was  the  great-grandfather  of  Zarathushtra,  Spitama  a  more 
distant  ancestor.  Their  names  here  describe  a  clan  of  the  Prophet's  more 
immediate  relatives. 

6  Or  (as  Bartholomae)  "  proclaim  to  you  that  ye  may  discern."     Geldner 
reads  as  above.     The  contents  of  the  lost  line  may  have  decided  it. 

7  Hvogva  is  the  family  name  of  Frasa-us'tra  and  his  daughter,  whom 
Zarathushtra  married,  and  of  his  brother  Jdma-aspa  mentioned  in  v.17.    See 
Lecture  III.  init. 

8  Geldner,  rightly  I  think,  understands  this  of  Mazdah  and  the  Prophet 
himself,  acting  as  Judge.     Justi  (IFAnz.,  xviii.  38)  refers  it  to  Frashaoshtra 
and  Jamaspa,  which  is  hard  to  understand. 

8  So  Bartholomae:  see  my  note  (p.  171).  Geldner  has  "where  the 
Wise  Lord  is  throned  in  his  majesty,"  depending  on  Skt  vardhman,  the 
meaning  of  which  Justi  (I.e.)  says  lies  in  quite  another  direction.  Justi  com- 


17.  Where,  O  Jamaspa  Hvogva,  I  will  recount  your  wrongs 
not  your  successes,1  (and)  with  your  obedience  the  prayers  of 
your  loyalty,  before  him  who  shall  separate  the  wise  and  the 
unwise   through   his    prudent    counsellor   the    Right,  even  he, 
Mazdah  Ahura. 

18.  He  that  holds  unto  me,  to  him  I  myself  promise  what  is 
best  in  my  possession  2  through  the  Good  Thought,  but  enmities 
to  him  that  shall  set  himself  to  devise  enmity  to  us,  O  Mazdah 
and  the  Right,  desiring  to  satisfy  your  will.    That  is  the  decision 
of  my  understanding  and  thought. 

19.  He  who  accomplisheth   for    me,    even    Zarathushtra,  in 
accordance  with  Right  that  which  best  agrees  with  my  will,  to  him 
as  earning  the  reward  of  the  Other  Life  shall  be  that  of  two 
pregnant  cows,3  with  all  things  whereon  his  mind  is  set.     These 
things  wilt  thou  bring  to  pass  for  me 4  who  best  knowest  how, 
O  Mazdah. 


Yasna  47 

1.  By  his  holy  Spirit  and  by  Best  Thought,  deed,  and  word, 
in  accordance  with  Right,  Mazdah  Ahura  with  Dominion  and 
Piety  shall  give  us  Welfare  and  Immortality.5 

pares  varaftva  (AirWb,  1371)  for  the  first  part  and  hadamoi  (above,  v.14)  for 
the  second,  and  retains  the  traditional  rendering,  "in  the  home  of  desire  "- 
Paradise,  where  all  desires  are  fulfilled.  This  does  not  seem  to  me  philo- 
logically  unsound.  Prof.  Jackson  (Zoroaster,  77)  renders  "amid  abundance." 

1  So  Bartholomae,  connecting  a/Ha  "damnum"  (Vd  1310)  :  he  compares 
Ys  4311 — the  wrongs  suffered  by  the  asavan  at  the  hands  of  the  dngvant  are 
recounted  before  Mazdah.     Geldner  gives  "  I  will  recount  of  you  only  what 
is  exemplary,"  apparently  connecting  afsman  with  afsman,  "metre,"  a  rather 
violent  procedure,  I  think.     Jackson  (I.e.)  has  "  ordinances."     The  Pahlavi 
renders  "  metrical,"  Neriosengh  pramdnam. 

2  Geldner,  "  wish."     In  either  case  Paradise  is  probably  intended,  unless 
the  cows  of  v.19  are  in  mind. 

3  For  these  mundane  rewards  cf.  Ys  4418,  and  Lect.  V.  init. 

4  Geldner,  "  das  scheinst  du  mir  am  besten  zu  wissen,"  taking  sqs  from 
\Jsand,  videri.     Bartholomae  prefers  \Jsand,  efficere. 

5  The  stanza  is  almost  a  mnemonic,  into  which  with  the  names  of  the 
Amshaspands  is  woven   the  triad   of   Thought,  Word,  and  Deed,  as  an 
expansion  of  "  Best  Thought."     There  is  much  in  this  hymn  to  suggest 
that  it  was  a  sort  of  versified  creed  for  the  neophyte,  bringing  in  a  maximum 
of  characteristic  terms. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  46,  47,  48  377 

2.  The  best  (work)  of  this  most  holy  Spirit  he l  fulfils  with 
the  tongue  through  the  words  of  Good  Thought,  with  work  of 
his  hands  through  the  action  of  Piety,  by  virtue  of  this  know 
ledge  ;  he,  even  Mazdah,  is  the  Father  of  Right. 

3.  Thou   art   the   holy    Father   of    this    Spirit,2    which   has 
created  for  us  the  luck-bringing  cattle,  and  for  its  pasture  to 
give  it  peace  (has  created)  Piety,3  when  he  had  taken  counsel, 
0  Mazdah,  with  Good  Thought. 

4.  From  this  Spirit  have  the  Liars  fallen  away,  O  Mazdah, 
but  not  so  the  Righteous.      Whether  one  is  lord  of  little  or 
of  much,  he  is  to  show  love  to  the  righteous,  but  be  ill  unto 
the  Liar. 

5.  And  all  the  best  things  which  by  this  holy  Spirit  thou 
hast  promised  to  the  righteous,  O  Mazdah  Ahura,  shall  the 
Liar  partake  of  them  without  thy  will,  who  by  his  actions  is 
on  the  side  of  111  Thought  ? 4 

6.  Through  this  holy  Spirit,  Mazdah   Ahura,  and  through 
the  Fire  thou  wilt  give  the  division  of  good  to  the  two  parties,5 
with  support  of  Piety  and  Right.    This  verily  will  convert  many 
who  are  ready  to  hear.6 

Yasna  48 

1.  When  at  the  Recompensings  the  Right  shall  smite  the  Lie, 
so  that  what  was  long  since  made  known  shall  be  assigned  in 
eternity7  to  Daevas  and  men,  then  will  it  exalt  with  thy  blessings, 
Ahura,  him  who  prays  to  thee. 

1  Zarathuslitra,  says  Bartholomae  in  AirWb,  1377  :  in  his  translation  he 
has  "  soil  man  erfiillen." 

2  ham-taSat  in  the  next  line  makes  it   clear  that  the  "spirit"  here  is 
Gius  taSan. 

3  See  Ys  319  and  note.  Aramaiti  is  here  brought  in  primarily  as  Genius  of 
the  Earth  :  Vohu  Manah  was  especially  patron  of  cattle. 

4  Or  as  Geldner, "  the  Liar  partakes  .  .  ."  :  since  this  is  "  against  Mazdah's 
will,"  it  is  inferred   that   the  aSavano   are   to  receive  as  their    reward 
possessions  enjoyed  by  the  drtgvato. 

6  The  aSavano  and  the  dwgvato,  as  elsewhere.  The  vanhdu  vldditi,  lit. 
"partition  in  good,"  is  of  course  an  abbreviated  phrase,  implying  "  partition 
of  good  and  evil  severally." 

6  Of.  Ys  462  and  note. 

7  See  p.  174.     Prof.  Soderblom  (La  Vie  Future,  239)  renders  daibitana 
fraoxta  "  ce  qu'ondit  etre  le  mensonge." 


2.  Tell  me,  for  thou  art  he  that  knows,  O  Ahura  : — shall  the 
Righteous  smite  the  Liar  before  l  the  retributions  come  which 
thou  hast  conceived  ?     That  were  indeed  a  message  to  bless  the 
world !  2 

3.  For  him  that  knows,3  that  is  the  best  of  teachings  which 
the  beneficent  Ahura  teaches  through  the  Right,  he  the  holy 
one,   even   thyself,4  O   Mazdah,    that    knows3    the   secret   lore 
through  the  wisdom  of  Good  Thought. 

4.  Whoso,  O  Maxdah,  makes  his  thought  now  better,  now 
worse,  and  likewise  his  Self  by  action  and  bv  word,  and  follows 
his  own  inclinations,  wishes  and  choices,  he  shall  in  thy  purpose 
be  in  a  separate  place  at  the  last.5 

5.  Let  good  rulers  rule  us,  not  evil  rulers,  with  the  actions  of 
the  Good  Lore,  O  Piety  !     Perfect  thou  for  man,  O  thou  most 
good,  the  future  birth,6  and  for  the  cow  skilled  husbandry.    Let 
her  grow  fat  for  our  nourishing  ! 

6.  She 7  will  give  8  us  a  peaceful  dwelling,  she  will  give  lasting 

1  The  stress  is  on   before.     Zarathushtra   is   clear  about  the   ultimata 
victory,  but  wistfully  asks  for  an  earnest  of  that  future. 

2  Bartholomae  has  "  Das  ware  gewiss  eine  der  Welt   frommende  Bot 
schaft."     Akardti  occurs  only  here,  and  is  rendered   "  efficiency  "  in  the 
Pahlavi  (Mills).     I  do  not  know  how  Bartholomae  arrives  at  his  "Kunde 
Botschaft"  (AirWb,  310).  "  This  is  [lit. "  is  known  as  "]  the  good  Renewal  ol 
the  world  "  is  an  alternative  that  seems  to  make  appropriate  sense  ;  and  it 
comes  naturally  out  of  a  +  \fkar. 

3  Vaedsmndi,  vidva  :  the  former  (middle)  is  only  used  of  men,  the  lattei 
(perf.  act.  =  Gk.  FeiScSs)  of  either  Mazdah  or  illuminated  men.     But  it  if 
risky  to  distinguish. 

4  Bwdvqs,  "one  likethee"  :  see  Ys  441. 

6  Both  Geldner  and  Bartholomae  take  this  stanza  to  refer  to  Hamistakan 
see  (p.  175). 

6  Bartholomae  so  takes  aipl-zaBa  (qs.   tiriyevvrjcris),   meaning  much  thi 
same  as  the  future  life.    Geldner,  following  the  tradition  (with  aipl  zaOsm. 
two   words),  renders    "  Reinheit    gleich   nach   der    Geburt    ist    fur    der 
Menschen  das  Beste.     Fur  das  Vieh  soil  man  tatig  sein."     The  contras 
is  a  good  example  of  the  latitude  of  interpretation  still  possible. 

7  Aramaiti,  especially  as  genius  of  the  Earth.     As  in  Ys  SO7  (q.v.)  sh< 
gives  future  life  :   the  connexion  strongly  suggests  the  germ  of  a  doctrin( 
of  bodily  resurrection. 

8  So  Geldner,  which  I  prefer  :  ddt  is  aorist,  and  may  be  indicative  (Sk 
addt)  or   injunctive  (Skt  ddt),  "has  given"  (as   Bartholomae,  GaBds)  o; 
"  will  give"  :  in  AirWb,  1839  B.  had  "let  her  give." 

THE   GATHAS—  K?  48  379 

life  and  strength,1  she  the  beloved  of  Good  Thought.  For  it 
(the  cattle)  Mazdah  Ahura  made  the  plants  to  grow  at  the  birth 
of  the  First  Life,  through  Right. 

7.  Violence 2  must  be  put  down  !    against  cruelty 2  make   a 
stand,  ye  who  would   make  sure  of  the  reward  of  the  Good 
Thought   through    Right,    to   whose  company    the   holy    man 
belongs.     His  dwelling  places  shall  be  in  thy  House,  O  Ahura. 

8.  Is  the  possession  of  thy  good  Dominion,  Mazdah,  is  that 
of  thy  Destiny 3  assured  to  me,  Ahura  ?     Will  thy  manifesta 
tion,4  O  thou  Right,  be  welcome  to  the  pious,  even  the  weighing5 
of  actions  by  the  Good  Spirit  ? 

9.  When  shall   I  know  whether  ye  have  power,  O  Mazdah 
'and  Right,  over  everyone  whose  destructiveness  is  a  menace  to 
me?     Let  the  revelation  of  Good  Thought  be  confirmed  unto 
me :    the  future  deliverer  should   know   how  his  own    destiny 
shall  be.6 

10.  When,    O    Mazdah,    will    the    nobles    understand    the 
Message?7     When  wilt  thou  smite  the  filthiness  of  this  in 
toxicant,8  through  which  the  Karapans  9  evilly  deceive,  and  the 
wicked  lords  of  the  lands  with  purpose  fell  ? 

11.  When,    O  Mazdah,  shall  Piety  come  with  Right,  with 
Dominion  the  happy  dwelling  rich  with  pasture  ?    Who  are  they 
that  will  make  peace  with  the  bloodthirsty  Liars  ?     To  whom 
will  the  Lore  of  Good  Thought  come  ? 

12.  These  shall  be  the  deliverers  of  the  provinces,  who  follow 

1  utayuitlmtavlSini  :  see  p.  114. 

2  AeSmo  ('AoTtoScuos)— see  p.  130.    Both  this  and  rsmo  denote  in  this 
context  violence  and  cruelty  towards  cattle,  such  as  the  nomad  raiders  were 
constantly  showing. 

3  aSoiS,  the  destined  reward. 

4  Apparently   the    <t>avep<o<ris,   Asa    unveiling  all    secret  things  (cf.    2 
Cor.  510). 

5  javaro  has  its  meaning  assigned  rather  by  guesswork.    For  the  weighing, 
e  p.  169  f. 

6  A  good  passage  to  show  what  saofyant  means  for  Zarathushtra. 

7  The  naro  (identified  with  the  xvaetu  by  Bartholomae— see  p.  117  f.)  are 
not  yet  won  over  :   whether  this  is  before  or  after  Vishtaspa's  conversion 
does  not  appear. 

8  A  very  marked    allusion    to   Haoma,  who,   however,  is  not  named. 
See  Ys  3214  and  note. 

9  See  Ys  3212  note. 


after  pleasing,  O  Good  Thought,  by  their  actions,  O  Right, 
depending  on  thy  command,  O  Mazdah.  For  these  are  th«f 
appointed  smiters  of  Violence. 

Yasna  49 

1.  Ever  has  Bendva1  opposed  me,  my  greatest  (foe),  because  1 
desire  to  win  through  Right 2  men  that  are  neglected,  O  Mazdah.1 
With  the  Good  Reward  4  come  to  me,  support  me,  prepare  hi; 
ruin  through 5  Good  Thought. 

2.  The  perverter6  of  this  Bendva  has  long  time  impeded  me. 
the  Liar  who  has  fallen  away  from  Right.     He  cares  not  thai 
holy  Piety  should  be   his,    nor   takes   he  counsel    with   Goo 
Thought,  O  Mazdah. 

3.  And  in   this   belief  (of  ours),  O    Mazdah,  Right   is  lai 
down,  for  blessing,  in  the  heresy  the  Lie,  for  ruin.     Therefon 
I  strive  for  the  fellowship  of  Good  Thought,8  I  forbid  all  intei 
course  with  the  Liar. 

4.  They  who  by  evil  purpose  make  increase  of  violence  an 
cruelty  with  their  tongues,  the  foes  of  cattle-nurture  among  il 
friends;  whose  ill  deeds  prevail,  not  their  good  deeds9:  thes 

1  A  daevayasna  chieftain.    So  Bartholomae,  for  once  agreeing  with  Mill 
who  thinks  the  Pahlavi  has  encouragement.     The  word  means  apparent! 
"  pestilent "  (^/ban,  to  make  sick) ;  and  Geldner  takes  it  as  a  title  of  tl 
evil  spirit :  on  the  other  view  it  will  be  a  nickname  of  the  chief. 

2  Or  (as  Geldner  and  Bartholomae)  "  0  Right,  0  Mazdah." 

3  Geldner's  version  is  so  different  that  I  quote  it :  "  Und  mir  hat  immt 
der  grosste   Verpester    entgegengewirkt,   der   ich  seine   iiblen    Absichtt 
gutheissen  soil,  0  Asha,  0  Mazdah." 

4  Add,  which  Bartholomae  regards  as  personified  here  ("  als  Gottheit 
AirWb,  321)  : — is  this  necessary  ?     Geldner  has  "  Gut  ist  das  Werk." 

6  So   Geldner :    Bartholomae    makes  it   "  0   Vohu   Manah,"    which 
equally  possible. 

6  Bartholomae  suggests  that  this  heretic  may  be  the  Grehma  of  whom  \ 
hear  in  Ys  3212'1*. 

7  Geldner,  "Und  an  diesen  Verpester  gemahnt  mich  der  falschglaubi 

8  Bartholomae  makes  sari  inf.,  "sich  anschliessen  an,"  but  allows  the  ge 
vaahauS  mananho  to  be  strange.     May  it  not  be  a  noun  ?     I  follow  Geldm 

9  Taking  hvar&diS  as  subject  (Jackson,  JAOS,  xv.  Ixii.),  and  followi: 
Bartholomae.      But    can   duzvarSta   follow   as  another  subject  ?      Bett 
perhaps  "  whose  good  deeds  do  not  outweigh  their  ill  deeds." 

THE    GATHAS—  Ys  48,  49  381 

'shall  be)  in  the  House  of  the  Daevas,  (the  place  for)  the  Self  of 
the  Liar.1 

5.  But  he,  O  Mazdah — happiness  and  satiety 2  be  his  who  links 
bis  own  Self  with    Good   Thought,  being   through    Right   an 
intimate  of  Piety.     And  with  all    these    (may    I    be)   in   thy 
Dominion,  Ahura. 

6.  I   beseech  you  twain,  O  Mazdah  and  the  Right,  to  say 
what  is  after   the  thought  of  your  will,  that  we  may  rightly 
discern  how  we  might  teach  the  Religion  that  comes  from  you,3 
0  Ahura. 

7.  And  this  let  Good  Thought  hear,  O  Mazdah,  let  the  Right 
hear,  do  thou  thyself  listen,  O  Ahura,  what  man  of  the  brother 
hood,4  what  noble 6  it  is  according  to  the  law  who  brings  to  the 
community  good  fame. 

8.  On  Frashaoshtra  do  thou  bestow  the  most  gladsome  fellow 
ship  with  the  Right — this  I  ask  of  thee,  O  Mazdah  Ahura — and 
on  myself  the  hold  on  what  is  good  in  thy  Dominion.     To  all 
eternity  we  would  be  (thy)  beloved.6 

9.  Let  the  helper  hear  the  ordinances,  he  that  is  created  to 
bring  deliverance.7     The  man  of  right  words  is  no  regarder  of 
fellowship  with  the  Liar,  if  they  that  are  partakers  of  Right 

1  A  difficult  line.      Geldner  renders  "die  machen   das   Gewissen   des 
Falschglaubigen  zu  (leibhaftigen)  Devs."     This  is  near  the  version  of  Tiele 
(Religionsy,,  ii.  96),  "Sie  schaffen  Daevas  durch  die  Lehre  des  Lugner." 
That  is,  Bartholomae  makes  dan  locative  of  dam,  "  house,"  Geldner  makes 
it  3  pi.  aor.  of  \/dd. 

2  Geldner,  "  he  is  milk  and  oil  for  such."     Aziiiti  means  solid  food,  or 
fat,  in  some  places.     See  Ys  297. 

3  x$mdvatd,  "  of  one  like  you  (Ahuras),"  as  elsewhere. 

4  airyamd  :  see  note  on  Ys  321. 

6  xvaetus :  see  the  same  note.  Geldner  has  "  welcher  Gonner,  welcher 
Verwandter  (i.e.  Frashaoshtra  und  .  .  .  Jamaspa  .  .  .)  nach  den  Gesetzen 
lebt,  dass  er  dein  Anhang  (den  Religionsgenossen)  ein  gutes  Vorbild  gebe." 
Bartholomae  notes  as  the  meaning  that  if  priests  and  nobles  set  a  good 
example,  the  peasants  will  also  attach  themselves  to  the  faith. 

6  Bartholomae,  "  messengers."     The  word  is  o.A..,  and  the  meaning  is  not 
as  good  as  Geldner's  "  deine  Trauten  "  ;  cf.  Vedic  prestha,  from  \Jpri,  to  love. 
The  Pahlavi  seems  to  have  attached  fraeStanho   to  1fraesta  ( =  irAe?(TToy), 
"  men  in  authority." 

7  This  is  Jamaspa,  here  called  a  saoSyant,  for  suye  is  the  infin.  of  the  verb 
of  which  that  is  fut.  partic. 


are  to  make  their  Selves  partake  in  the   best    reward    at   the 
Judgement,  O  Jamaspa. 

10.  And   this,   O   Mazdah,   will   I    put    in   thy  care   within 
thy    House1 — the    Good    Thought2    and    the    souls    of    the 
Righteous,    their   worship,    their  Piety   and   zeal,3   that   thou 
mayst  guard    it,  O  thou   of  mighty  Dominion,  with  abiding 

11.  But  these  that  are  of  an  evil  dominion,  of  evil  deeds,  evil 
words,  evil  Self,  and  evil  thought,  Liars,  the  Souls 5  go  to  meet 
them  with  foul  food :   in  the  House  of  the  Lie  they  shall  be 
meet  inhabitants. 

12.  What  help  hast  thou,  O  Right,  for  Zarathushtra  that 
calls  upon  thee  ?  what  hast  thou,  Good  Thought  ? — for  me  who 
with  praises  seek  your  favour,  O  Mazdah  Ahura,  longing  for 
that  which  is  the  best  in  your  possession. 

Yasna  50 

1.  Zarathushtra. — Can  my  soul   count  on  anyone  for  help? 
Who  is  there  found  for  my  herd,6  who  for  myself  a  protector 
indeed,  at  my  call  other  than  Right   and  thyself,  O  Mazdah 
Ahura,  and  the  Best  Thought  ? 

2.  How,   O    Mazdah,    should   one    desire   the   luck-bringing 
cattle,7  one  who  would  fain  it  should  come  to  him  together  with 
the  pasture  ? 

Mazdah.  —  They     that     live    uprightly    according    to    the 
Right  among  the  many  that  look   upon   the  sun,   these  when 

1  The  "treasury"  (ganj),  as  it  was  afterwards  called  ;  see  p.  162. 

2  mano  vohu,  with   order   changed.     No  doubt  it  means   that  of  the 
asavano,  whose  aramaiti  is  also  thus  committed  to  Mazdah's  care.    Thi? 
coincident  use  of  the  names  of  two  Arnshaspands  illustrates  the  thinness  of 
their  personification. 

3  Iza  :  Geldner,  "die  su'sse  Milch,"  the  food  of  the  blessed,  as  (according 
to  G.)  in  Ys  5 11. 

4  Bartholomae  divides  the  vox  nihili  into  avam  Ira. 

6  Of  those  "  Liars  "  who  have  died  earlier  and  preceded  them  to  the  hell 
of  which  the  "  foul  food  "  is  characteristic. 

6  pas9u§  (pecus). 

7  See  Ys  446,  473.     Bartholomae  and  Geldner  take  it  as  a  reward  in  tin 
future  life :  the  former  notes  that  one  who  makes  cattle  and  pasture  thf 
source  of  good  here  cannot  conceive  of  Paradise  without  it. 

THE   GATHAS— F*  49,  50 

they  stand  in  the  judgement1   I   will  settle  in   the  dwellings 
of  the  wise. 

3.  Zarathushtra. — So  this  (reward)  shall  come  to  him  through 
the  Right,2  O  Mazdah,  (the  reward)  which  by  the  Dominion  and 
Good  Thought  he3  promised,  whosoever  by  the  power  of  his 
Destiny   prospers   the   neighbouring   possession    that    now  the 
Liar 4  holds. 

4.  I  will  worship  you  with  praise,  O  Mazdah  Ahura,  joined 
with  Right  and  Best  Thought  and  Dominion,  that  they,  desired 
of  pious  men,  may  stand  as  Judges  5  on  the  path  of  the  obedient 
unto  the  House  of  Song. 

5.  Assured  by  you,  O  Mazdah  Ahura  and    Right,6  are   the 
pointings  of  the  hand7 — since  you  are  well  disposed  to   your 
prophet — which    shall  bring  us  to  bliss,  together  with  visible 
manifest  help. 

6.  The  prophet  Zarathushtra,  who  as  thy  friend,  O  Mazdah 
and  the  Right,8  lifts  up  his  voice  with  worship — may  the  Creator 
of  Wisdom  teach  me  his  ordinances  through  Good  Thought, 
that  my  tongue  may  have  a  pathway.9 

7.  For  you  I  will  harness  the  swiftest  steeds,  stout  and  strong, 
by  the  prompting  of  your  praise,  that  ye  may  come  hither, 
0  Mazdah,  Right  and  Good  Thought.     May  ye  be  ready  for 
my  help ! 

1  dkdstmg.     Akd  as  an  adj.  means  manifest,  as  a  noun  -rb  QavepiaQjivai  in 
the  sense  of  2  Cor.  510.     Geldner  renders,  "  0  du  Ankunderin,  wenn  du 
diese  scheidest,  so  nimm  mich  als  Gerechten  an." 

2  Or  "  0  Right "  (asd,  voc.  or  instr.). 

3  Bartholomae  interprets  this  as  Mazdah,  supposing  the  stanza  (despite 
the  clear  vocative  Mazda)  addressed  to  Vishtaspa.     Could  we  take  xsaflra 
and  vohucd  mananhd  as  instr.  for  the  subject,  and  render  "  which  Dominion 
and  Good  Thought  have  promised  "  ? 

4  Bartholomae  thinks  there  ia  a  definite  reference  to  Bendva  or  Grehma. 
6  dkd — see  note  on  v.2.     "  Revealers  "  would  be  more  exact. 

6  Mazda   A$d  Ahura.     The  order   of  the  words   makes   Bartholomae's 
earlier  view  tempting,  by  which  Ahura  is  dual,  "  ye  two  Lords."     But  now 
both  he  and  Geldner  take  it  as  above. 

7  See  note  on  Ys  344. 

8  So  Bartholomae  in  his  Lexicon :  his  translation  is  "  der  Freund  des 
Asa,"  which  would  seem  to  make  aSd  instr.,  "  befriended  by  Asha." 

9  May  not  stray  from  the  right  path.     Zarathushtra  himself  is  speaking, 
though  he  uses  the  third  person  in  the  relative  clause. 


8.  With  verses  that  are  recognised  as  those  of  pious  zeal  I 
will  come  before  you  with  outstretched  hands,  O  Mazdah,  before 
you,  O  thou  Right,  with  the  worship  of  the  faithful  man,  before 
you  with  all  the  capacity  of  Good  Thought. 

9.  With   these    prayers   I    would   come   and   praise   you,  0 
Mazdah  and  thou  Right,  with  actions  of  Good  Thought.     If 
I   be  master  of  my  own   destiny  as   I    will,   then   will  I  take 
thought  for  the  portion  of  the  wise  in  the  same. 

10.  Those  actions  that  I  shall  achieve,  and  those  done  afore 
time,  and  those,  O   Good  Thought,   that  are  precious  in  the 
sight,  the  rays  of  the  sun,  the  bright  uprisings  of  the  days,1  all 
is  for  your  praise,  O  thou  Right  and  Mazdah  Ahura. 

11.  Your  praiser,  Mazdah,  will  I  declare  myself2  and  be,  so 
long,  O  Right,  as  I  have  strength  and  power.     May  the  Creator 
of  the  world  accomplish  through  Good  Thought  its  3  fulfilment 
of  all  that  most  perfectly  answers  to  his  will  ! 


Yasna  51 

1.  The  good,  the  precious  Dominion,  as  a  most  surpassing 
portion,  shall  Right  achieve  for  him  that  with  zeal  accomplishes 
what  is  best  through  his  actions,  O  Mazdah.     This  will  I  now 
work  out  for  us. 

2.  Before  all,  O   Mazdah  Ahura,  give  me  the  Dominion  o 
your  possession,  O  Right,  and  what  is  thine,  O  Piety.     Youi 
(Dominion)  of  blessing  give  through  Good  Thought  to  hin 
that  prays. 

3.  Let  your  ears  attend4  to  those  who  in  their  deeds  am 
utterances  hold  to  your  words,  Ahura  and  Right,  to  those  o 
Good  Thought,  for  whom  thou,  Mazdah,  art  the  first  teacher. 

4.  Where  is  the  recompense  for  wrong  to  be  found,  whep 
pardon   for  the  same  ?     Where  shall  they  attain  the  Right 

1  See  note  on  Ys  463. 

2  aojdi,  used  rather  like  its  cognate  «#x<vtai  (tlvat),  in  Homer. 

3  anlwus  depends  on  data  and  haidydvaraStam^  curb  KOIVOV,  according  t 
Bartholomae  (AirWb,  1761). 

4  Bartholomae,  "  Eure  Ohren  sollen  sich  mit  denen  in  Verbindung  setze 
die  .  .  ."     Geldner,  "  Eure  Ohren  sollen  erfahren,  welche  .  .  .'"' 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  50,  51  385 

Where  is  holy  Piety,  where  Best  Thought  ?   Thy  Dominions, 
where  are  they,1  O  Mazdah  ? 

5.  All  this  (I)  ask,  whether  the  husbandman  shall  find  cattle  2 
in  accordance  with  Right,  he  that  is  perfect  in  actions,  a  man  of 
understanding,  when  he  prays  to  him  who  hath  promised  unto 
the  upright  the  true  judge,3  in  that  he  is  lord  of  the  two 
Destinies  4 — 

6.  even   he,  Ahura    Mazdah,    who    through    his    Dominion 
ippoints  what  is  better  than  good  to  him  that  is  attentive  to 
lis  will,  but  what  is  worse  than  evil  to  him  that  obeys  him  not, 
vt  the  last  end  of  life. 

7.  Give  me,  O  thou  that  didst  create  the  Ox  and  Waters  and 
?lants,  Welfare  and  Immortality,5  by   the   Holiest    Spirit,  O 
Mazdah,  strength  and  continuance  through  Good  Thought  at 
he  (Judge's)  sentence. 

8.  Of  those  two  things  will  I  speak,  O  Mazdah — for  one  may 
ay  a  word  to  the  wise, — the  ill  that  is  threatened  to  the  Liar, 
,nd   the   happiness    that   clings   to    the   Right.      For   he   the 
'rophet  is  glad  for  him  who  says  this  to  the  wise. 

9.  What  recompense  thou  wilt  give  to  the  two  parties  by  6  thy 
ed  Fire,  by  the  molten  Metal,  give  us  a  sign  of  it  in  our  souls — 
ven  the  bringing  of  ruin  to  the  Liar,  of  blessing  to  the  Righteous. 

10.  Whoso,  other  than  this  one,7  seeks  to  kill  me,  Mazdah, 
e   is   a   son8   of  the   Lie's   creation,    ill-willed    thus   towards 

1  Bartholomae  observes  that  this  last  question  is  the  answer  to  those  that 
recede.    The  plural  x&tflra  is  unusual  :  cf.  Ys  3411. 

2  I  have  rendered  gdus  "cattle"  because  the  gender  is  indeterminate, 
:cept  in  gSus  tasan,  etc.,  where  "  Ox-creator  "  is  more  convenient.     Both 
eldner  and  Bartholomae  think  the  eschatological  Lohnkuh  is  meant  here 
•see  note  on  Ys  502.     I  do  not  feel  quite  sure  that  the  homely  cow  of  this 
orld  may  not  be  meant,  and  so  leave  the  matter  open. 

3  Ratum  :  Zarathushtra  means  himself — see  note  on  Ys  4416. 

4  Heaven  and  hell.      Of    course   Mazdah   is   the  apportioner  (\sayas, 
jotens  ")  of  the  aSl. 

5  Note  the  combination  with  Water  and  Plants,  their  province. 

6  See  Ys  313  and  note.     On  the  ayah  x$usta  see  p.  157  f. 

7  Bartholomae  suggests  that  the  reference  would  be  made  clear  by  a 
;sture.     If  so,  it  is  hardly  likely  that  the  evil  spirit  is  intended,  as  he 
'inks  :  rather  a  human  heretic  (Geldner),  perhaps  Grehma. 

5  hunus  (Skt  sunu,  Gothic  sunus),  curiously  specialised  in  Avestan  to 
•  note  only  "  sons  "  of  demoniacal  beings.    See  on  this  phenomenon  p.  218  f. 



all  that  live.1      I  call  the  Right  to  come  to  me  with  good 

11.  What   man   is    a   friend   to   Spitama    Zarathushtra,  0 
Mazdah  ?      Who   will   let    himself  be    counselled   by   Right  ? 
With  whom3  is  holy  Piety?     Or  who  as  an  upright  man  is 
intent  on  the  covenant 4  of  Good  Thought  ? 

12.  The  Kavi's  wanton5  did  not  please  Zarathushtra  Spitama 
at  the  Winter  Gate,  in  that  he  stayed  him  from  taking  refugt 
with  him,  and  when  there  came  to  him  also  (Zarathushtra's)  two 
steeds  shivering  with  cold. 

13.  Thus   the  Self  of   the    Liar   destroys   for   himself   the 
assurance  of  the  right  Way ;  whose  soul  shall  tremble  at  the 
Revelation6   on  the  Bridge  of  the  Separater,  having   turned 
aside  with  deeds  and  tongue  from  the  path  of  Right. 

14.  The  Karapans 7  will  not  obey  the  statutes  and  ordinance 
concerning  husbandry.    For  the  pain  they  inflict  on  the  cattle,  f ul 
fil  upon  them  through  their  actions  and  judgements  that  judge 
ment  which  at  the  last  shall  bring  them  to  the  House  of  the  Lk 

15.  What  meed  Zarathushtra  hath  promised  to  the  men  c 
his  covenant,8  (which)  in  the  House  of  Song  Ahura  Mazda 
hath  first  attained,  for  all  this  I  have  looked  through  yoi 
blessings,  Good  Thought,  and  those  of  Right. 

16.  Kavi  Vishtaspa  hath  accepted  that  creed  which  the  hoi 
Mazdah  Ahura  with  Right  hath   devised,  together  with  tl 
dominion  of  the  Covenant,4  and  the  path  of  Good  Thought.     ' 
be  it  accomplished  after  our  desire. 

It  only  occurs  once  in  the  Gathas,  which  is  insufficient  evidence  for  t' 
establishment  of  the  usage  so  early.  Probably  the  Magi  based  th< 
appropriation  on  the  accident  of  the  use  here. 

1  duz-dd  yoi  hmti,  the  antithesis  of  hudd  yoi  hantl  in  Ys  456. 

2  Asa  to  come  with  asi  vanuhl.     See  p.  360. 

3  Kd  instr.  (Bartholomae).     Geldner  makes  it  nom.  sg.  fern.,  "  Was  g 
die  heilige  Armaiti  ? " 

4  Magdi,  a  doubtful  word.    Bartholomae  "  Bund,"  Geldner  "  Gnadengal 
See  note  on  Ys  2911. 

6  vaepayd  =  iraiSiK<i:  Geldner  makes  it  a  proper  name.  Bartholomae  1 
just  emphasis  on  the  convincing  reality  of  this  personal  reminiscence : 
above,  p.  83. 

6  dkd  :  see  notes  on  Ys  488,  50H 

7  See  p.  140. 

8  magavabyo  :  see  note  on  magdi  in  v.n  and  in  Ys  29U. 

THE   GATHAS—  Ys  51  387 

17.  The  fair  form  of  one  that  is   dear  hath  Frashaoshtra 
Hvogva  promised  unto  me  : l  may  sovran  Mazdah  Ahura  grant 
that  she  attain  possession  of  the  Right  for  her  good  Self. 

18.  This  creed   Jamaspa  Hvogva2    chooses  through   Right, 
lordly  in  substance.3      This  Dominion  they  (choose)  who  have 
part  in  Good  Thought.     This  grant  me,  Ahura,  that  they  may 
find  in  thee,  Mazdah,  their  protection. 

19.  This  man,4  O  Maidyoimaongha  Spitama,5  hath  set  this 
before  him  after  conceiving  it  in  his  own  Self.     He  that  would 
see  Life  indeed,  to  him  will  he  make  known  what  in  actions  by 
Mazdah's  ordinance  is  better  during  (this)  existence. 

20.  Your  blessings  shall  ye  give  us,  all  ye  that  are  one  in 
will,  with  whom  Right,   Good  Thought,  Piety,  and  Mazdah 
(are  one),  according  to  promise,  giving  your  aid  when  worshipped 
with  reverence. 

21.  By  Piety  the  beneficent  man  benefits6  the  Right  through 
his  thinking,  his  words,  his  action,  his  Self.     By  Good  Thought 
Mazdah  Ahura  will  give  the  Dominion.     For  this  good  Destiny 7 
I  long. 

22.  He,  I  ween,  that    Mazdah    Ahura  knoweth,  among  all 
that   have  been  and  are,  as  one  to  whom  in  accordance  with 

1  Hvovi,  the  daughter  of  Frashaoshtra  :  see  p.  82.     The  possibilities  of 
these  Gathic  problems  are  well  illustrated  here  by  Geldner's  version,  "  Einen 
begehrenswerten  Leib  hat  mir  F.  H.  fur  seine  gute  Seele  ausgemalt."     He 
notes  "  D.  h.  er  hat  ihm  geschildert,  welchen  schbnen  Leib  er  im  Paradies 
fiir  seine  glaubige  Seele  erbittet  :  vgl.  Ys  366,"  where  prayer  is  offered  for  the 
"  fairest  of  all  bodies,"  to  be  the  worshipper's  portion.     The  reference  to  the 
Prophet's  new  bride  seems  a  priori  probable  in  a  stanza  referring  to  his 
father-in-law,  and   Bartholomae's  rendering  seems  to  me  preferable.     A 
passage  from  the  Gatha  Haptanghaiti  is  not  the  best  of  parallels  for  the 
elucidation  of  the  older  Gathas. 

2  Frashaoshtra's  brother,  and  Zarathushtra's  son-in-law — see  Ys  53. 

3  Geldner  joins  istois  x-taOram,  "das  Reich  des  Wiinsches,"  the  looked-for 
Kingdom  of  God. 

4  M.  himself  (Bartholomae). 

5  Maidyoi-mdnha,  a   cousin   of  the   Prophet,  and   his  earliest  convert, 
according  to  tradition.     See  p.  82. 

6  Spmto — spmva{.     Bartholomae,  who  will  not  allow  "  beneficent "  as  the 
meaning  of  spanta — on  which  see  p.  145— regards  this  as  a  paronomasia.     He 
renders  "  By  Piety  one  becomes  holy.     Such  a  man  advances  Right  by 

.  ,"  etc.     So  now  Brugmann,  Grundriss2,  II.  iii.  329. 

7  vanhvlm  asim  :  see  note  on  v.10. 


Right  the  best  portion  falls  for  his  prayer,  these  will  I  reverence J 
by  their  names  and  go  before  them  with  honour. 

Yasna  53 

1.  Zarathushtra. — The  best  possession  known  is  that  of  Zara- 
thushtra  Spitama,  which  is  that  Mazdah  Ahura  will  give  him 
through  the  Right  the  glories  of  blessed  life  unto  all  time,  and 
likewise  to  them  that  practise  and  learn  the  words  and  actions  of 
his  Good  Religion. 

2.  Then  let  them  seek  the  pleasure  of  Mazdah  with  thought, 
words,  and  actions,  unto  his  praise  gladly,  and  seek  his  worship, 
even  the  Kavi  Vishtaspa,  and  Zarathushtra's  son 2  the  Spitamid, 
and  Frashaoshtra,  making  straight  the  paths  for  the  Religion    , 
of  the  future  Deliverer  which  Ahura  ordained. 

3.  Him,    O    Pourucista,3    thou    scion    of    Haecataspa    and 
Spitama,  youngest  of  Zarathushtra's   daughters,  hath  (Zara- 
thushtra)  appointed  as  one  to  enjoin  on  thee  a  fellowship  with 
Good  Thought,  Right,  and  Mazdah.      So  take  counsel  with 
thine  own  understanding :  with  good  insight  practise  the  holiest 
works  of  Piety. 

4.  Jamaspa. — Earnestly  will  I  lead  her  to  the  Faith,4  that    , 
she  may  serve  her  father  and  her  husband,  the  farmers  and  the 
nobles,5  as  a  righteous  woman  (serving)   the  righteous.      The 
glorious  heritage  of  Good  Thought  [.  .  .  three  syllables  cor- 
rup  .  .  .  ]  shall  Mazdah  Ahura  give  to  her  good  Self  for  all 


5.  Zarathushtra. — Teachings  address  I    to  maidens    marry- 

1  yazdi — here  only  in  the  Qathas  applied  to  men.     As  suggested  in 
ERPP,  118,  it  seems  a  little  suspicious  :  later  worship,  as  in  Yt  13  passim, 
used  it  freely  of  thefravashi  of  a  living  man.     On  the  yenhe  hdtam(Ys  2715) 
as  adapted  from  this  stanza,  see  ERPP,  117. 

2  Isat-vdstra  by  name  (see  p.  82)  :    it  does  not  happen  to  occur  in  the 
Gathas,  which  only  refer  to  him  here. 

3  On  Pourucista  and  Haecataspa  (fourth  progenitor  of  Zarathushtra,  in 
the  fifth  generation  from  Spitama)  see  pp.  82,  375. 

4  nlvaranl :   so  Bartholomae  divides,  with   two  good  MSS.  Geldner's 
standard  text  reads  spardddnl  vardnl. 

6  \vaetave,  "  the  clan."     On  the  castes  see  p.  117. 

THE   GATHAS—  ft  51,  53  389 

ing,  and  to  you  (bridegrooms),  giving  counsel.  I,ay  them  to 
heart,  and  learn  to  get  them  within  your  own  Selves  in  earnest 
attention  to  the  Life  of  Good  Thought.  Let  each  of  you 
strive  to  excel  the  other  in  the  Right,  for  it  will  be  a  prize 
for  that  one. 

6.  So  is  it  in  fact,  ye  men  and  women  !     Whatever  happiness 
ye  look  for  in  union  with  the  Lie  [?  shall  be  taken  away  from 
your  person 1].     To  them,  the  Liars,  shall  be  ill  food,  crying 
Woe! — bliss  shall  flee  from   them   that  despise  righteousness. 
In  such  wise  do  ye  destroy  for  yourselves  the  spiritual  Life. 

7.  And  there  shall  be  for  you  the  reward  of  this  Covenant,2 
if  only  most  faithful  zeal  be  with  the  wedded  pair,3  that  the 

pirit  of  the  Liar,  shrinking  and  cowering,  may  fall  into  perdi 
tion  in  the  abyss.4  Separate  ye  from  the  Covenant,2  so  shall 
your  word  at  the  last  be  Woe  ! 

8.  So  they  whose  deeds  are  evil,  let  them  be  the  deceived, 
and   let  them  all   howl,  abandoned    to  ruin.     Through  good 
rulers  let  him  bring  death  and  bloodshed  upon  them,  and  peace 
from  their  assaults 5  unto  the  happy  villagers.6     Grief  let  him 
bring  on  those,  he  that  is  Greatest,  with  the  bond  of  death  ;  and 
soon  let  it  be  ! 

9.  To  men  of  evil  creed  belongs  the  place  of  corruption.7 
They  that  set  themselves  to  contemn   the  worthy,  despising 

1  Bartholomae's  conjectural  translation  [AirWb,  1289,  "das  wird  von  seiner 
Person  weggenommen "]  :     lie   assumes  (ib.,    1808)  that   Drujo   has  been 
repeated  from  the  previous  line,  and  the  unintelligible  hoi*  piM  interpolated 
in  some  way  that  cannot  be  explained.     The  ejection  of  these  three  words 
restores  the  metre.    (Bartholomae's  "  seiner"  refers  back  to  "dem  Anhiinger 
der  Druj,"  which  he  understands  from  Drujo.) 

2  See  note  on  Ys  29". 

3  Bartholomae  takes  bunoi  haxtayd  as  a   proverbial  phrase,  "  if  most 
faithful  zeal  be  in  your  very  marrow."     His  account  of  haxt,  irregularly 
answering  to  Skt  sakthi,  "  leg,"  seems  rather  violent,  and  bunoi  has  to  mean 
"  at  bottom,"  with  haxtayd  (gen.)  like  our  phrase  "  bred  in  the  bone."     I 
follow  Geldner  here  with  some  hesitation,  but  take  yaBrd  as  introducing  a 
purpose  clause  (cf.  Ys  31 u). 

*  bunoi  :  can  we  change  the  order  of  this  and  haxtaya  ? 
6  dig,  lit.  "  peace  with  them." 

6  vlzibyd  :  vis  is  the  complex  of  "  houses  "  (nmdna),  with  zantu,  "  county," 
aud  finally  daKyu,  "  province,"  above  it. 
~  vaUso,  the  same  word  as  the  Latin  virus. 


righteousness,  forfeiting  their  own  body1  —  where  is  the  Righteous 
Lord  2  who  shall  rob  them  of  life  and  freedom  ?  Thine,  Mazdah, 
is  the  Dominion,  whereby  thou  canst  give  to  the  right-living 
poor  man  the  better  portion. 

1.  Ahuna  Vairya  (Ys  2713)  :  see  p.  160  f. 

Right  is  the  best  good  :  it  falls  by  desire,  it  falls  by  desire  to 
us,  even  our  Right  to  the  best  right.3 

3.  A  airySma  ifyo  (  Ys  541)  : 

Let  the  dear  Brotherhood  4  come  for  support  of  Zarathushtra's 
men  and  women,  for  support  of  Good  Thought.  Whatever 
Self  may  win  the  precious  meed  of  Right,  for  this  one  I  beg 
the  dear  Destiny  that  Ahura  Mazdah  bestowed.5 

1  paso  •  tanvo,  here  only  in  Gathas.      In  the  Later    Avesta  it  recurs 
frequently,  to  denote  sinners  for  whom  there  is  no  atonement.    Bartholomae 
collects  the  following  passages  of  the  Vendidad  to  show  which  sins  are  in 
this  category  :—  420  f.,  24  f.,  28  f.,  32  f.,  35  f.,  38  f.,  41  f.  ;  543  ;  64,  8,  18,  «  ;  771  ; 
13",  37  ;  151,  2,  4,  e,  7,  8  ;  1613,  Niring.  44. 

2  ahuro,  here  apparently  of  the  human  king  who  executes  judgement  on 
earth  as  Mazdah  will  at  the  Last  Day. 

3  See  ERPP,  116.     It  is  apparently  a  play  on  two  derived  meanings  of 
asa,  right-doing,  and  a  man's  rights.     "  He  who  lives  rightly  gets  his  rights 
in  the  end." 

4  I  have  ventured  tentatively  to  give  airysmd  the  meaning  it  seems  to 
have  in  the  Gathas  :  see  p.  117.     In  this  Prayer  Bartholomae  makes  it  an 
Ahura  ("  Gottheit  "),  with  Vedic  parallels.     But  may  not  the  Prophet  be 
simply  urging  "  believers  "  to  do  their  duty,  with  promise  of  a  heavenly 
reward  ? 

5  masatd.    Bartholomae  (Flexionslehre,  27)  assumed  a  root  mas,  "  schenken  ' 
(not  in  AirWb).     Could  we  read  mastd  (with  two  or  three  MSS.),  as  an 
aorist  of  man,  "thought  of"?      Asi  is  thus  the   creature  of  Mazdah's 


HERODOTUS,  i.  131-140 

131.  Now  the  Persians  I  know  to  have  the  following  customs. 
They  count  it  unlawful  to  set  up  images  and  shrines  and  altars,1 
and  actually  charge  them  that  do  so  with  folly,  because  as  I 
suppose  they  have  not  conceived  the  gods  to  be  of  like  nature 
with  men,  as  the  Greeks  conceive  them.  But  their  custom 
is  to  ascend  to  the  highest  peaks  of  the  mountains,2  and  offer 
sacrifices  to  Zeus,  calling  the  whole  vault  of  the  sky  Zeus ; 3 

1  Here,  as  in  some  other  noteworthy  points,  there  is  a  suggestive  resem 
blance  to  the  conditions  of  early  Roman  worship  :  cf.  Dr  Warde  Fowler's 
Gi/ord  Lectures,  p.  145  f.     In  Bh  I14,  Darius  says  he  "  restored  the  sanctu 
aries  which  Gaumata  the  Magian  destroyed."     His  word  is  dyadand  (cf.  Av. 
yaz,  "  to  worship  "),  which  in  the  Babylonian  version  is  the  equivalent  of 
the  Hebrew  Bethel,  "  houses  of  the  gods."     These  (if  really  Persian — see 
p.  195  f.)  were  perhaps  mere  shelters  for  the  sacred  fire,  with  no  recognis 
able  altar.      Parsism  was  always  as  free  from  images  as  Mosaism  itself. 
For  the  reason  given,  compare  the  statement  of  Porphyry  (Vit.  Pyth.,  41)  : 
'fipofid^ov  foiufvai  rb  fj.fv  ffwfJ.a  <fxari,  r^v  5e  ^"XV  a\ij6eia..      For  the  absence  of 
shrines  compare  Cicero,  De  Legilus,  II.  x.  26,  "nee  sequor  magos  Persarum, 
quibus  auctoribus  Xerxes  inflammasse  templa  Graeciae  dicitur,  quod  parieti- 
bus  includerent  deos,   quibus   omnia  deberent  esse  patentia  ac    libera, 
quoruinque  hie  mundus  omnis  templum  est  et  domus."     The  dyadand  may 
very  well  have  been  open  so  as  to  conform  to  this  rule.     (I  owe  the  reference 
to  Mr  Hicks.)    See  further  p.  67  f. 

2  Cf.  below,  on  Plutarch,  p.  403  ;  also  p.  213  f. 

3  Prof.  Sayce  would  identify  this  "vault  of  heaven"  (6  -n-as  KVK\OS  rov 
ovpavov)  with  an  obscure  yazata  called  in  Yt  1066  ®wd$a  x*addta  :  Darmesteter 
renders  "  sovran  sky,"  while  Bartholomae  makes  him  the  atmosphere.     He 
is  not  nearly  conspicuous  enough  for  such  a  place.     We  have   rather  to 
recognise  the  great  Aryan  and  South  Indo-European  sky-god  Dyeus  (Vedic 



and   they   sacrifice   also    to    Sun,   Moon,   Earth,  Fire,  Water, 

Dyauh,  Zeus,  Diespiter,  with  its  vocative  luppiter).  His  name  in  Old  Persian 
— nom.  *Diyau$,  ace.  Diydm,  loc.  Divi  or  Diyavi — would  inevitably  suggest 
its  Greek  cognate  and  synonym  to  the  ear  of  a  Greek  traveller.  I  was 
confirmed  in  my  reading  of  the  evidence  by  finding  it  anticipated  by 
Spiegel  (Eran.  Altertumskunde,  ii.  15).  There  is  now  a  full  discussion  of 
the  point  in  Bartholomae,  Zum  AirWb,  172-4,  starting  from  a  note  in 
Hesychius,  ^tavfj.eyd\^v  %  ev$o£ovTbv  ovpavbv  Utpyat.  Clearly,  if  the  old 
lexicographer  was  thinking  of  Herodotus  he  had  some  reason  for  dissociat 
ing  Aia  there  (and  Ait)  from  z«u$,  for  he  selects  the  accusative  of  the  fern, 
adj.  5?o,  common  in  Homer.  Now  *&iav  would  represent  the  ace.  of  O.P. 
*Diyauts  almost  exactly.  May  we  not  conjecture  that  Hesychius  had 
evidence  prompting  him  to  desert  the  obvious  Z«vs  in  Herodotus,  even 
though  A»'  just  before  would  not  fit  8?a  ?  We  have  strong  reason  for  ex 
pecting  to  find  Dyaus  in  Persia,  since  he  belongs  to  the  Vedic  pantheon, 
though  his  cult  is  evidently  dying.  Bartholomae  cites  Aia?£u,  the  name  of 
a  Persian  noble  in  ^Eschylus,  Persce,  977.  It  is  either  *divai-xsis,  "  ruling 
in  the  sky,"  or  *divai-sis,  "dwelling  in  the  sky."  (I  think  divai  and  dyavi 
may  be  alternative  forms  of  the  locative,  related  like  X0o? t  and  xaPa'h  with 
Skt  divi  =  AiFi  as  a  mixture.)  Bartholomae  suggests  that  the  Thracian  sage 
Zd/4o\£is  had  a  Scythian  (and  so  Iranian)  name,  zamar-xsi£,  "qui  regnat  in 
terra."  (Since  the  cognate  Thracian  had  the  required  \  in  the  name  for 
Earth,  witnessed  by  SeyueArj,  we  need  not  perhaps  make  Zamolxis  a  foreigner 
in  Thrace.)  But  what  were  those  Persian  aristocrats  thinking  of  when 
they  named  their  infant,  on  either  etymology  ?  Can  we  explain  qui  regnat 
in  ccelo  by  the  doctrine  of  the  Fravashi  ?  If  the  heavenly  counterpart  had 
royal  rank,  the  rank  of  the  earthly  double  should  correspond,  and  match 
the  parents'  ambition. 

The  case  for  the  presence  of  DyauS  in  Iran  is  strengthened  by  its  recogni 
tion  in  Yt  313,  a  verse  passage,  thus  rendered  in  ERPP,  124  : — 

Headlong  down/rom  heaven  fell  he, 
He  of  demons  the  most  lying, 
Angra  Mainyu  many-slaying. 

This  rendering  of  patat  dyaos  is  found  in  Darmesteter  and  Bartholomae. 
Geldner,  rather  doubtfully  followed  by  Soderblom,  makes  it  mean  "  started 
from  hell,"  assuming  that  dyauS  shared  the  degeneration  which  befell  its 
cognate  daeva.  I  do  not  feel  this  at  all  probable,  though  its  acceptance 
would  not  affect  our  present  point,  the  survival  in  Iran  of  the  old  word  for 
Sky.  A  conflict  in  the  upper  air  between  the  powers  of  light  and  darkness 
is  a  thoroughly  Iranian  notion.  It  may  even  have  contributed  to  popular 
beliefs  outside  Iran,  for  when  Paul  uses  it  (Eph.  612)  as  an  idea  familiar  to 
the  people  of  the  Lycus  valley,  it  will  probably  be  as  a  native  folklore  which 
he  could  apply,  without  doing  harm,  when  the  infinite  transcendence  of 
Christ  was  held  fast.  There  is  a  further  parallel  in  Rev.  1 29,  supposed  to 


and  Winds.1  To  these  alone  they  have  sacrificed  from  the  be 
ginning  ;  but  they  have  learned  in  addition,  from  the  Assyrians 
and  the  Arabians,  to  sacrifice  to  Urania.2  (The  Assyrians 

be  adapted  from  Jewish  apocalyptic.  Both  passages  may  he  fairly  added 
to  the  tale  of  possible  Iranian  contacts  with  Judaism  (Lecture  IX.). 

Before  leaving  the  subject,  I  should  remark  on  the  limitation  implicit  in 
my  calling  Dyeus  pater  the  "  South  Indo-European  Sky-Father."  In  ERPP 
33  I  repeated  the  common  equation  which  adds  our  own  Germanic  Tiu 
(Tuesd&y)  to  the  Aryan,  Greek,  and  Italian  series.  Bremer's  argument  for 
attaching  the  Germanic  words  to  deivos  rather  than  dyeus  did  not  convince 
Prof.  Otto  Schrader  (ERE,  ii.  33  n.) ;  and  the  High  German  Zio  is  declared 
by  the  paramount  authority  of  Prof.  Brugmann  (Grundriss2,  i.  133  f.)  to 
suit  either  origin.  But  Prof.  H.  M.  Chadwick  tells  me  that  the  Old 
English  form  cannot  be  traced  to  anything  but  deivos  •  and  though 
richrader's  opinion  is  naturally  of  great  weight,  it  must  in  a  matter  affect 
ing  Germanic  yield  to  that  of  the  specialist  in  this  field.  A  Germanic 
scholar  who  attended  my  lectures  urged  that  if  Dyeus  were  found  in  our 
speech-area  it  would  be  isolated  in  the  western  part  of  the  Indo-European 
country  :  though  deivos  and  dyeus  are  only  Ablaut-doublets,  differentiation 
of  meaning  set  in  during  the  earliest  period.  But  on  the  theory  sketched 
above  (p.  5  n.,  26  n.),  a  contact  between  Germanic  and  Aryan  falls  into 

1  All  these  are  palpably  urarisch.     Prof.  Sayce  declares  that  "  sacrifices 
were  not  offered   to "   four  of  them.     He  is,  however,  a   relatively   late 
authority  ;  and  in  all  his  objections  there  is  an  unwarrantable  assumption 
that  Herodotus  is  wrong  wherever  we  cannot  support  him  from  the  Avesta. 
If  the  Persian  popular  religion  was,  as  I  have  tried  to  prove,  still  untouched 
by  Zoroaster,  the  assumption  falls.     (It  must  in  fairness  be  remembered  that 
Prof.  Sayce's  Herodotus  was  published  in  1883.)     We  turn  to  the  details. 
The  Sun  and  the  Moon  have  each  a  Yasht  in  their  honour,  but  so  late  and 
so  unimportant  that  we  lay  more  stress  on  other  evidence.     India,  of  course, 
abundantly  illustrates  the  prominence  of  the  great  lights  in  Aryan  religion, 
and  the  Avesta  from  beginning  to  end  has  sufficient  parallels.     Earth  had 
the  genius  Aramati  in  Aryan  times  (see   p.  112),   and    the    connexion 
survived  in  the  Gathas  and  after.     Apart  from  this  name,  we  have  the 
worship  of  Earth  and  Waters,  "  the  wives  of  Ahura  Mazdah,"  in  Ys  38,  a 
hymn  of  the  Haptanghaiti,  which  we  have  seen  to  be  an  almost  pure  source 
of  Iranian  Nature-worship,  practically  untouched  by  the  Eeform.     In  the 
same  Gatha  we  find  adoration  of  Fire,  which  was  supremely  sacred   in 
Zarathushtra's  own  doctrine  :  thus  in  Ys  363  Fire  is  Ahura's  "most  holy 
spirit."     In  Ys  423  "the  mighty  Mazdah-made  Wind"  receives  worship. 
So  there  is  adequate  Avestan  testimony  after  all,  from  the  older  stratum. 

2  The  Persians  adopted  the  Semitic  cult  of  Ishtar,  who  in  some  form 
unmistakably  stands  behind  the  great  Iranian  goddess  Anahita.     For  con 
vergent  evidence  supporting  this  most  important  statement  see  p.  238  f. 


call  Aphrodite  Mylitta,1  the   Arabians   Alitta,2   the  Persians 

132.  Now  the  manner  of  the  Persians'  sacrifice  to  the  gods 
afore-named  is  this.  They  neither  make  them  altars  nor  kindle 
a  fire  when  about  to  sacrifice:4  they  use  no  libation,  no  flute, 
no  garlands,  no  meal.5  But  as  one  desires  to  sacrifice  to  each 
of  these  deities,  he  takes  the  victim  to  a  pure  place  and  calls 
upon  the  god,6  his  headdress  adorned  with  a  garland,  generally 
of  myrtle.  It  is  not  permitted  him  to  ask  for  good  things  for 
his  own  private  use  who  sacrifices ;  but  he  makes  petition  for 
good  to  befall  the  whole  Persian  people  and  the  King,  for  he 
also  is  counted  with  the  whole  Persian  people.  Then  when  he 
has  cut  up  the  victim  and  seethed  the  flesh,  he  spreads  out  a 
carpet  of  the  tenderest  herbage,7  especially  clover,  and  sets  all 

1  Mu'allidtu  (Zimmern)  was  "probably  a  functional  appellative  of  Ishtar, 
meaning  '  the  helper  of  childbirth  '  "  (Farnell,  Greece  and  Babylon,  p.  270", 
That  Ishtar  was  "queen  of  heaven"  (e.g.  in  Jerem.  718)  makes  the  titl; 
Ovpaviri  natural  here.     For  Mylitta  see  Herod,  i.  199. 

2  Generally  emended  'A\t\dr,  as  in  iii.  8,  where  she  and  'Opord\,  whom 
Herodotus  identifies  with  Dionysus,  are  said  to  be  the  sole  divinities  of  th ; 
Arabs.     Hommel  (Geographie  und  Geschichte  des  alten  Orients,  p.  200)  say: 
that  Herodotus  wrote  Mv\irra  for  the  Elamite  ANAITTA,  that  "AAITT  ; 
represents  anndhid,  "die  Vollbiisige." 

3  On  this  helpful  mistake  see  p.  238.     The  close  association  of  Mithr  , 
and  Anahita,  reflected  in  the  inscriptions  of  the  later  Acheemenians,  is  itse 
evidence  of  the  thorough  Semitising  of  the  Mithra  cult  in  Persia.     But  th 
spirit  of  Iran  showed  itself  in  the  superior  conspicuousness  of  the  ma. 
deity  :  contrast  the  feeble  male  counterparts  of  Ishtar  in  Semitic  fielc 
(Frazer,  Adonis,  Attis,  Osiris2,  105  ff.). 

4  The  essence  of  the  sacrifice  was  the  setting  out  of  food  before  the  deit 
for  him  to  partake  of  its  spiritual  essence  (tyvx'h  in  Strabo,  732) :  cf.  th 
Hebrew  "  shewbread."     The  sacred  fire  was  the  messenger  inviting  to  com 
to  the  sacrifice. 

5  The  omission  of  the  (Haoma)  libation  here  raises  difficulty :  see  th 
discussion  above,  p.  71  f. 

6  We  may  compare  the  prominence  in  the  Later  Avesta  of  the  "  sacrific 
in   which    the    name    is    invoked"    (aoxto-naman    yasna,    Yt    1031   al] 
see  p.  203. 

7  The  barhis,  "sacrificial  grass,"  of  Vedic  ritual.     The  correspondin 
Avestau  barszi^  has  been  generalised  to  "cushion,"  the   special  meanir. 
having  been  displaced  by  the  Reform.    As  described  above  (p.  190),  th  ; 
derivative  barssman,  the  bundle  of  twigs  still  used  in  Parsi  worship,  retail 
a  trace  of  the  older  meaning  in  the  verb  star,  "  spread." 


;he  flesh  thereon.1  And  when  he  has  thus  disposed  it,  a  Magian 
nan  stands  by  and  chants  a  theogony  thereto,  for  such  the 
Persians  say  the  chant  is.2  Without  a  Magian  it  is  not  lawful 
"or  him  to  offer  sacrifices.3  And  after  waiting  a  little  time  the 
>acrificer  takes  away  the  flesh  and  uses  it  as  he  will. 

133.  The  day  of  all  others  that  they  are  wont  to  honour  most 
s  a  man's  birthday.  Thereon  they  deem  it  right  to  set  out  a 
neater  feast  than  on  other  days.  The  prosperous  among  them 
serve  up  an  ox,  a  horse,  a  camel,  or  an  ass,4  roasted  whole  in 
jvens,  while  the  poor  serve  up  the  smaller  quadrupeds.  And 
;hey  do  not  eat  much  staple  food,  but  they  have  a  great  many 
lessert  dishes,  which  are  not  all  set  on  at  once.  For  this  cause 
Persians  say  that  the  Greeks  at  their  meals  always  leave  off 
hungry,  because  nothing  worth  mention  is  brought  on  after 
dinner — if  anything  were  brought  on,  they  would  never  leave 
aff  eating.  Now  they  are  greatly  given  to  wine  ; 5  and  it  is  not 
allowed  them  to  vomit  nor  to  make  water  in  another's  presence. 
These  rules  are  thus  well  kept ;  and  it  is  when  drunken  that 
they  are  wont  to  discuss  their  most  serious  business.  But  what- 
oever  has  pleased  them  when  thus  discussing,  this  the  master  of 
the  house  in  which  they  have  been  for  the  discussion,  puts  before 
them  the  next  day  when  sober.  And  if  it  please  them  sober, 
they  abide  by  it ;  but  if  not,  they  put  it  away.  But  what 

1  Compare  Prof.  Sb'derblom's  notes  (La  Vie  Future,  266)  on  the  animal 
sacrifices  to  be  offered  by  Saoshyant  and  his  auxiliaries  at  the  end  of  the 
world.     Since  animal  sacrifices  were  abolished  by  Zarathushtra,  this  attests 
the  antiquity  of   the  material  incorporated  in  the  Bundahish  account  of 
Saoshyant.     Note  that  in  thus  abolishing  sacrifice  the  Prophet  only  went  a 
step  beyond  Iranian  custom  as  described  by  Herodotus,  in  which  the  gods 
only  partook  of  the  spiritual  essence  of  meat  that  would  be  eaten  by  their 

2  The  dfoyovtr)  answers  well  to  a  Yasht,  or  a  normal  Vedic  hymn,  telling 
of  the  exploits  and  history  of  a  God,  like  a  Homeric  Hymn.     See  the 
parallel  in  Pausanias  (v.  273),  cited  in  full  in  a  footnote  at  p.  208  above. 

3  Herodotus  writes  three   generations  after  the   Magian   revolt  under 
Qaumata.     The  Magians  doubtless  had  long  re-established  themselves  in 
their  sacred  offices,  if  indeed  they  had  ever  lost  them  among  the  common 
people  of  Media.     See  p.  194  f. 

4  The  animals,  as  Blakesley  notes,  are  a  relic  of  prehistoric  nomadism. 

6  Compare  the  curious  notice  in  Ctesias  (above,  p.  72),  and  what  is  said 
about  Haoma,  p.  71  f.     The  modern  Persians  have  kept  up  the  vice. 


things  they  discuss  first  when  sober,  they  examine  over  again 
when  drunk. 

134.  When  they  meet  one  another  in  the  streets,  by  this  may 
one  discern  whether  they  that    meet   are   equals.     Instead  oi 
speaking  to  one  another  they  kiss  on  the  mouth.     If  the  one  be 
a  little  the  other's  inferior,  they  kiss  on  the  cheek.     But  if  the 
one  be  of  much  humbler  birth,  he  falls  down  before  the  other 
and  does  obeisance.     They  honour  most  after  themselves  those 
who  live  nearest  to  them,  and  in  the  next  place  those  next  toi 
these  ;   and  they  assign  honour  in  proportion  as   they  go  on 
thus,  holding  those  least  in  honour  who  live  farthest  away  from 
them  ;  for  they  account  themselves  to  be  by  far  the  best  of  all 
men  at  everything,  while  others  attain  excellence  in  the  proper 
tion  here  described,  and  they  that  live  farthest  away  are  the 
worst.     In  the  time  of  the  Median  rule  the  several  races  had 
the  following  precedence  over  one  another.     The  Medes  wen 
over  all  alike,  and  over  those  living   nearest   to   them  :   thest 
again  were  over  their  neighbours,  and  they  too  over  those  nex 
to  them.     According  to  the  same  principle  also  the   Persian: 
apportion  honour;  for  each  nation  took  its  place  in  order  a 
ruler  and  administrator.1 

135.  The  Persians  adopt  foreign  customs  most  readily  of  al 
men.     Accounting   the  Median  dress  more  comely  than  thei 
own,  they  wear  this,  and  Egyptian  breastplates  in  war.2     Whei 
they  hear  of  luxuries  from  any  quarter  they  indulge  therein 
Thus  they  have  even  learned  unnatural  vice  from  the  Greeks. 
They  each  marry  a  number  of  lawful  wives,  and  get  them  man> 
more  concubines  still.     136.  It  is  approved  as  a  token  of  manli 
ness,  next  after  being  a  good  fighter,  that  a  man  should  havi 
many  sons  to  show ;  and  to  him  that  can  show  the  most,  th( 
king   every  year    sends   gifts.      In    numbers,    they  think,   lie 

1  See  the  note  in  How  and  Wells.     (I  am  only  annotating  points  tha 
affect  the  subject  of  this  book.) 

2  An  Egyptian  borrowing  in  the  sphere  of  religion  was  the  winged  sola 
disk  which  supplied  the  image  of  Ahura  on  the  Achsemenian  monument 
(p.  243). 

3  The  Vendidad  denunciation  of  this  as  mortal  sin  (S26-  27)  does  not,  a 
Messrs  How  and  Wells  imply,  prove  the  vice  earlier  than  Persian  contac 
with  the  Greeks,  though  it  may  well  be  so  :  cf.  Ys  5112  (p.  386). 


trength.  They  teach  the  boys,  from  five  years  old  to  twenty, 
hree  things  only — to  ride,  to  shoot,  and  to  be  truthful.1  But 
;ill  the  child  is  five  years  old  he  does  not  come  into  the  father's 
ight,  but  lives  wholly  with  the  women.  This  is  done  that  if 
le  should  die  while  under  their  care  it  may  not  cause  distress  to 
he  father.  137.  I  commend  this  custom,  as  also  the  following, 
hat  neither  does  the  king  himself  put  a  man  to  death  on  a 
ingle  charge,  nor  does  any  other  Persian  on  a  single  charge 
nflict  irreparable  penalty  on  any  of  his  slaves.  Only  after  com- 
mtation  of  his  wrong  deeds  and  his  services  does  he  indulge  his 
mger,  if  he  finds  the  former  to  be  more  numerous  and  greater 
han  the  latter.2  They  say  that  no  one  has  ever  killed  his 
>wn  father  or  mother.  Whatever  deeds  of  this  kind  have 

P2en  done,  they  declare  must  prove  on  inquiry  to  have  been  the 
ork  of  changelings  or  children  born  in  adultery,  for  that  it  is 
lot  rational  to  conceive  of  a  real  parent  slain  by  his  own  child. 
138.  Whatsoever  things  they  may  not  do,  of  these  they  may 
lot  speak.  Most  disgraceful  of  all  is  lying  accounted,  and  next 
o  this  to  be  in  debt.  Many  reasons  are  assigned  for  this,  but 
.he  chief  is  that  they  say  the  debtor  is  sure  to  lie  as  well.  If 
my  citizen  has  leprosy,  of  one  kind  or  the  other,3  he  does  not 
nter  a  city  nor  mingle  with  other  Persians.  They  say  he  is 
hus  afflicted  because  he  has  sinned  against  the  Sun.  Every 
tranger  seized  with  these  diseases  they  expel  from  their  country  : 
nany  also  drive  out  white  doves,  charging  them  with  the  same 

139.  Into  a  river  they  neither  make  water  nor  spit,  nor  do 

1  See  p.  130  f.     No  doubt  the  ^ovva  in  this  famous  dictum  is  to  be  indul- 
ently  interpreted,  as  epigrams  usually  demand.     Reading,  for  example, 
?a>s  an  accomplishment  more  likely  to  be  learnt  before  twenty  than  after  : 
he  existence  of  the  Inscriptions  is  presumptive  evidence  of  its  prevalence. 

2  For  the  corresponding  characteristic  of  divine  justice,  see  pp.  144,  170. 

3  fovK-r)  is  said  to  be  a  mild  leprosy  :  \etrpii  is  thus  a  severer  form. 

*  Leprosy  offends  because  of  its  whiteness,  and  white  doves  are  tabu  for 
lie  same  reason.  In  Yt  1012G  Cisti,  "  Knowledge,"  drives  at  the  left  hand 
f  Mithra,  a  semi-solar  yazata,  "  clothed  in  white  robes,  and  white  herself." 
Vhite  horses  drew  the  car  of  Dyaus  (p.  59),  and  white  horses  were  offered 
J  the  Strymon  (p.  216).  Whiteness  might  then  be  tabu  in  Iran  as  an 
ivasion  of  a  divine  monopoly.  The  white  dress  of  the  Magi  in  Diogenes 
j.  415)  may  thus  emphasise  their  sacred  character. 


they  wash  their  hands  therein  nor  allow  anyone  else  to  do  so, 
for  they  reverence  rivers  most  highly.1  Another  peculiarity 
has  not  been  observed  by  the  Persians  themselves,  but  it 
has  not  escaped  our  notice.  Their  names,  which  suit  their 
personal  appearance  and  their  love  of  grand  style,  always 
end  with  the  same  letter — that  which  Dorians  call  San  and 
lonians  Sigma.  If  you  examine  them  you  will  find  that  the 
names  of  Persians,  not  merely  some  but  all  alike,  end  in  this 

140.  This  much  I  can  say  about  the  Persians  from  exact 
knowledge.       Other  things  are    talked  of  as  secrets  and  not 
openly,  with  regard  to  the  dead — how  that  the  corpse  of  ;i 
Persian  is  not  buried  before  it  has  been  torn  by  bird  or  dog, 
Now  I  know  the  Magi  do  this,  for  they  do  it  without  conceal 
ment  ;  but  the  Persians  cover  the  corpse  with  wax  and  bury  it 
in  the  earth.3     But  the  Magi  are  very  different  from  other  mer. 
and  especially  from  the  priests  in  Egypt.     The  latter  hold  ii 
a  sacred  duty  to  slay  no  living  thing,  save  what  they  sacrifice 
but  the  Magi  slay  with  their  own  hands  all  animals  except  ; 
dog  and  a  man,  and  they  make  this  an  object  of  rivalry,  slayin 
alike  ants  and  snakes  and  other  reptiles  and  birds.4     As  to  thi 
custom,  let  it  stand  as  it  has  been  practised  from  the  first 
but  I  will  return  to  my  former  subject. 

1  See  above,  p.  216.     Messrs  How  and  Wells  appropriately  quote  tl 
deposition  of  a  king  for  building  bath-houses  (SHE,  iv.2  116  n.)  ! 

2  Herodotus  seems  rather  to  plume  himself  on  his  linguistic  acumen,  bi 
of  course  the  remark  is  wholly  wrong.     Names  in  -i§  and  -us  were  in  fa 
the  only  names  that  did  end  in  a   sibilant :  lie  was  generalising  fro 
Graecised  forms  in  -as,  -TJS  or  -os. 

3  Note  the  suggestion  of  secrecy,  due  perhaps  to  a  sharp  conflict  in  tb 
matter  between  the  masses  who  would  follow  their  Magian  kin,  and  tl 
Iranian  castes  which  clung  to  their  old  customs.     The  distinction  drav 
here  between  Magi  and  Persians  is  most  valuable,  and  shows  the  accura 
observation  which  is  evidenced  almost  throughout  this  account.     Compa 
the  Scythian  custom  in  iv.  71  (KdTaKfKiip<a/j.evov  rb  o-w/xo)  :  here  we  have  t 
genuine  Iranian  as  against  the  aboriginal  practice.     See  note  on  Strabo  x 
20  (p.  409  f.),  and  the  discussion  above,  p.  202  f. 

4  The  most  conspicuously  Ahrimanian  creatures  are  singled  out,  wh 
aydivia-pa  well  describes  the  merit   that  accumulated  from  this  duty, 
is  purely  Magian,  alien  alike  from  genuine  Persian  religion  and  frc 
Zarathushtra's  Reform.     On  birds  contrast  Plutarch  (p.  400). 


PLUTARCH,  Isls  and  Osiris,  cc.  46  f. 

Plutarch  has  been  speaking  of  two  principles,  of  Good  and 
Evil,  intermingled  in  the  world  around  us,  according  to  the 
doctrine  of  various  poets  and  philosophers,  and  enshrined  in 
religious  rites  both  Greek  and  foreign.  He  proceeds  : — 

46.  And  this  is  the  view  of  the  greatest  number  and  the 
wisest  of  men.  For  some  recognise  two  gods,  as  it  were  rival 
artificers,  the  one  the  creator  of  good  things,  the  other  of 
worthless.  But  others  call  the  better1  power  God,  and  the 
other  a  daemon,2  as  does  Zoroaster3  the  Magus,4  who  they  say 
flourished  five  thousand  years  before  the  Trojan  War.5  Now 
he  called  the  one  Horomazes  and  the  other  Areimanios ; 6  and 
lie  showed,  moreover,  that  the  former  resembled  Light  more  than 
any  other  thing  perceived  by  the  senses,  while  the  latter  again 
is  like  darkness  and  ignorance :  intermediate  between  them  is 
Mithres,  wherefore  also  the  Persians  call  Mithres  the  Mediator.7 
And  he  taught  them  to  sacrifice  to  the  one  offerings  of  vows 
and  thanksgivings,  and  to  the  other  offerings  for  averting  ill, 
and  things  of  gloom.8  For  pounding  in  a  mortar  a  herb  called 
omomi,9  they  invoke  Hades  and  darkness  :  then  having  mingled 

1  The   comparative   answers  exactly  to   the  Gathic  spanyah  in  Ys  452, 
where  "  the  holier  of  the  Two  Spirits  thus  spake  to  the  Enemy." 

2  That  is  a  divine  being  of  inferior  rank. 

3  Zwptaffrpis  :  on  the  Greek  forms  of  the  name,  see  p.  426  f. 

4  That  Zoroaster  was  a  Magian  is  the  general  Greek  view,  the  force  of 
which  is  discounted  by  the  fact  (see  p.  426)  that  the  Greeks — Xanthus  the 
Lydian  excepted  (p.  412) — knew  nothing  of  him  till  the  middle  of  the  fourth 
century  B.C.,  which  is  more  than  two  centuries  after  his  traditional  date 
(p.  18).    For  some  arguments  against  the  assumption,  see  pp.  116-8  and  197  f. 

6  This  very  general  Greek  exaggeration  is  supposed  to  arise  from  a  mis 
understanding  of  the  Zoroastrian  aeons  of  three  thousand  years  :  p.  403  f. 

8  On  these  forms  see  p.  422-6. 

7  See  the  discussion  upon  Mithra,  esp.  p.  65  f. 

8  As  noted  above,  p.  127  f.,  the  idea  of  propitiating  the  powers  of  darkness 
was  utterly  alien  to  Zarathushtra's  system.     It  was  found  in  Mithraism — 

derived,  as  we  have  seen,  from  Iranian  religion  untouched  by  the  Reform  : 
cf .  the  dedication  DEO  ARIMANIO,  and  other  examples  noted  in  Lecture  IV. 
Nocturnal  libations  are  mentioned  in  the  Avesta,  as  noticed  on  p.  129, 
and  Herodotus  witnesses  a  cult  of  6  virb  yrjv  At-y^uevos  dvai  0t6s,  answering 
exactly  to  Hades  here  and  in  other  Greek  texts. 

9  The  Teubner  editor  prints  MOJA.I;  without  comment.      Prof.   Cumont 
(Textes  et  Monuments,  ii.  34)  accepts  it,  remarking  that  de  Lagarde  con- 


it  with  the  blood  of  a  slaughtered  wolf,1  they  bear  it  forth  into 
a  sunless  place  and  cast  it  away.  For  certain  of  the  plants  they 
count  to  belong  to  the  good  God,  and  others  to  the  evil  daemon ; 
and  of  animals  some,  as  dogs  and  birds  and  hedgehogs,  belong 
to  the  good  power,2  and  water-rats 3  to  the  bad,  wherefore 
they  count  fortunate  him  that  has  slain  most. 

jectured  the  reading,  and  Bernardakis  put  it  in  his  text  ("d'apres  le 
MarcianusV).  On  this  point  my  friend  Prof.  Deissmann  of  Berlin  has 
kindly  consulted  Prof.  Wilamowitz  for  me,  who  writes  as  follows : — 
"OMflMl  ist  als  Uberlieferung  anzusehen,  das  heisst  so  hatte  der  Text, 
den  wir  erreichen  ;  es  ist  eine  Handschrift  des  Planudes.  MflAT  gibt 
Diibner ;  es  kann  nur  Conjectur  sein,  Urheber  unbekannt.  (Auf  Grund 
des  den  kiinftigen  Herausgebern  der  Moralia  bekannten  Materials.)"  Since 
Bernardakis  professes  to  give  the  variants  from  MSS.,  this  is  in  keeping 
with  the  character  of  his  edition  as  exposed  years  ago  by  the  great  scholar 
to  whom  I  owe  this  note.  Hommel  (Geog.,  207)  compares  Syr.  hemdmd, 
&IJ.GIHOV  in  Aristotle  and  Theophrastus.  If  this  is  correct,  Plutarch  must 
have  received  ultimately  from  Aramaic  sources  the  name  of  a  plant 
substituted  by  popular  etymology  for  the  haoma,  which  was  of  course 
intended.  The  O\/M>S  is  familiar  in  the  Avesta  (hdvana). 

1  Cumont  notes  that  the  custom  is  quite  unknown  :  the  nearest  illustra 
tion  is  Herodotus  i.  132,  which,  however,  only  gives  us  a  parallel  ritual  for 
the  powers  of  light.      Windischmann  compared  Ys  921,  where  Haoma  is 
entreated  to  give  his  worshipper  first  sight  of  the  wolf  :   compare  lupi 
Moerim  videre  priores.     This  parallel  does  not  take  us  far,  though  it  rather 
endorses  Ahriman's  rights  in  the  wolf.     Note,  however,  that  the  province 
Varkdna  (Av.  Vdhrkdna)  or  Hyrcania  was  named  from  the  wolf. 

2  They    devour    corpses    and    insects,    which    are    conspicuous    among 
Ahriman's  creation.     The  holiness  of  the  dog  is  still  more  securely  based. 
As  to  birds,  cf.  the  Tobit  story,  p.  253  above. 

3  Rapp  (i.    82)    renders    x€Pffa'tovs    *xivovs    Landigel,   and   wvSpovs   ph 
Wasserigel.     But  it  seems  strange  to  equate  ex'"04  and  pves.     (Apart  from 
this,  having  trodden  on  a  sea-urchin  while  bathing  in  Jamaica,  I  should 
acquiesce  in  Ahriman's  claim  to  the  animal.)     It  does  not  seem  likely  that 
fivs  here  =  mussels :  the  obvious   water-rat   seems   to  meet  the  conditions. 
Jackson  (Grundriss,  ii.  666)  brilliantly  compares  the  she-devil  Mus  Pairikd 
(Ys  168  and  688),  who  on  the  authority  of  the  Bundahish  is  supposed  to  be 
a  comet,  or  something  responsible  for  a  lunar  eclipse :  the  former  would 
suit  our  sea-urchin  or  other  creature  with  spines.    The  killing  of  Ahrimanian 
creatures  is  of  course  a  high  virtue  in  the  Magian  system.     Windischmann 
(Zor.  St.,  282),  who  quotes  Plutarch,  Quaest.  Conv.,  iv.  52,  translates  Wasser- 
mause:   he   cites   Vd   IS2  for  the  xfPff<"°*  «x»/0*,  which  "after  midnight 
kills  thousands  of  Ahriman's  creatures."     Cumont  observes  simply,  "  Quel 


47.  Moreover,  they  also  tell  many  mythical  tales  about  the 
rods,  such  as  the  following.  Horomazes,  born  from  the  purest 
ight,  and  Areimanios,  born  from  the  gloom,  strive  in  war 
yith  one  another.  And  Horomazes  created  six  gods,1  the  first 
>f  Good  Will,  the  second  of  Truth,  the  third  of  Good  Govern- 
nent,  and  of  the  rest  the  one  as  maker  of  wisdom,  another  of 
vealth,  and  another  of  pleasures  in  beautiful  things.  And 
Areimanios  created  as  it  were  rival  artificers  to  these,  equal  in 
lumber  to  them.2  Then  Horomazes  having  extended  himself 

1  1  It  may  be  assumed  that  Plutarch  would  call  the  avrirtx^oi  of  the 
unshaspands  Sai/j-ovis  like  their  chief,  but  he  does  not  use  the  word  below, 
'or  the  Six  in  detail  see  pp.  110-5.  They  correspond  in  order  as  above  to 
Mm  Manah  (EtWa),  Asha  ('AA^0«ia),  Khshathra  (Evvopia),  Aramaiti  (ffo<pias 

(j^ioup-yJs),    Haurvatat    (T\OUTOU   STJ/X.),    and     Ameretat     (r&v  eirl  rots   /ca\oty 

Stiav  SrjjU.).  The  equivalents  are  accurate  enough  till  we  come  to  the  last 
wo.  Health  and  wealth  are  associated  in  English  on  excellent  authority, 
ut  are  hardly  the  same  thing  ;  and  we  do  not  improve  matters  by  trying 
[hshathra  (with  Tiele).  And  it  is  exceedingly  curious  that  Plutarch 
aould  have  gone  so  far  astray  with  Ameretat,  the  simplest  conception  of 
11.  The  two  last  Ameshas  never  had  anything  like  the  prominence  of  the 
rst  four.  Plutarch  seems  to  give  not  only  them  but  Aramaiti  a  secondary 
ink,  which  as  far  as  the  latter  is  concerned  is  by  no  means  in  keeping  with 
ae  Avesta.  It  should  be  noted,  however,  that  in  the  Haptanghaiti  Gatha 
Aramaiti  is  not  named  more  than  once,  and  Haurvatat  and  Ameretat  not 
b  all,  though  their  special  provinces,  Water  and  Plants,  are  as  conspicuous 
the  first  three  Amshaspands.  Plutarch's  text  as  it  stands  is  so  entirely 
ide  of  the  mark  in  its  equivalent  for  Ameretat  that  corruption  is  sug- 
jsted  :  Cumont's  iStw  for  ^5<W,  "  Creator  of  the  Ideas  connected  with 
ood  things,"  is  exceedingly  ingenious.  Prof.  Cumont  observes  the 
latonism,  which  is  of  course  in  Plutarch,  not  in  Parsism.  He  thinks  this 
ivolves  bringing  in  the  role  of  Vohumanah.  If  we  had  to  justify  this, 
e  might  note  how  in  Cappadocia,  according  to  the  usual  emendation 
id  interpretation  of  Strabo  (see  p.  101),  "  Omanus  and  Amardatus  "  are 
''H&tonoi.  But  is  it  not  simpler  to  recall  that  the  very  essence  of  Platonic 
leas  is  their  immortality,  as  distinguished  from  the  fleeting  mortality  of 
neir  earthly  shadows  ? 

2  See  Bd  287  (SBE,  v.  106  f.),  and  compare  Vd  109,  1943  (Cumont). 
rs  Maunder  puts  the  point  exceedingly  well  in  a  striking  paper  on  the 
ishtrya  rnythus  in  The  Observatory  (Dec.,  1912) :  "Some  say  that  we  owe 
ie  game  of  chess  to  the  Persians,  and  on  that  chequered  field  the  con- 
cting  armies  are  equal  and  opposite  ;  every  white  piece  is  balanced  by  a 
ack  piece,  exactly  equivalent  in  name  and  form  and  powers.  So  it  was 
ith  the  Zoroastrian  [Magian,  I  would  say]  plan  of  the  universe  ;  the  two 
•eat  armies  of  good  and  evil  were  equal  and  opposite.  It  is  true  that  the 



threefold l  withdrew  himself  from  the  sun  by  as  much  as  the  Sun 
is  withdrawn  from  the  earth,  and  he  adorned  the  sky  with  stars  ;2 
and  one  star  he  established  before  them  all  as  a  kind  of  watch 
man  and  scout,  Sirius.3  And  having  made  other  four-and-twenty 
gods  he  put  them  in  an  egg.4  But  they  that  were  born  from 
Areimanios,  being  of  the  same  number,  bored  through  the  egg 

law  of  the  game  was  '  White  to  move,  and  mate  in  so  many  millenniums/ 
but  the  two  forces  corresponded  in  number  and  in  detail — they  were 

1  This  may  possibly  be  a  confused  version  of  the  story  of  Yima,  wlic 
thrice  enlarged  the  earth,  by  one-third  each  time  (Vd  211'15'19).     Jacksor, 
(Grd.,   671)  refers  it  to  the  doctrine  of  heavenly  spheres,  which  he  sayi, 
is  recognisable  in   Zoroastrianisrn.       So    Windischmann  (Zor.    St.,   283) 
who    compares    the  three  heavens   through    which   the    soul  ascends  to 

2  This  at  any  rate  is  Avestan  doctrine,  whatever  may  be  thought  of  the 
context:  in   Ys  317  Ahura  "first  planned  that  the  heavenly  realms  be 
clothed  with  lights."      So  in  the   Inscriptions   Auramazda   "  made  yoi: 
heaven."       Cumont    adds    the    reference    to    Bundahish,    ch.    ii.   (SEE 
v.  10  f.). 

3  This  primacy  of  Sirius  is  apparent  in  the  Tishtrya  Yasht. 

4  "  A  common  figure  for  the  Weltkugel  in  antiquity,"  says  Eapp  (ii.  63 
who  notes  that  it  does  not  seem  like  a  piece  of  popular  myth-making.    Bu 
Darmesteter    (OA,   133)  quotes   the   Cosmic   Egg   from   the   Minokhire 
(SEE,  xxiv.  85),  and  from  Manu,  so  that  the  idea  might  even  be  Aryai 
Whether  similar  myths  in  other  regions  are  casually  or  causally  connectec  ' 
we  need  not  stay  to  inquire.     The  24  Yazatas  are  not  thus  numbered  i 
Avestan  texts,  though  Prof.  Jackson  observes  that  when  the  days  of  tl 
month  sacred  to  Ahura  and  the  Amesha  are  deducted  about  24  remai]  '< 
But  with  so  much  obviously  alien  matter  in  the  context,  I  am  tempte  ' 
to  look   elsewhere   than  in   the   Avesta,  especially  as   the  number  is  ; 
precise.     Prof.  Cumont  (Astrology,  p.  33)   speaks  of  24  stars,  outside  tl 
Zodiac,  "  twelve  in  the  northern  and  twelve  in  the  southern  hemispher 
which,  being  sometimes  visible,  sometimes  invisible,  became  the  judges  • 
the  living  and  the  dead."     Gunkel  (Zum  religionsgeschichtlichen  Verstandn 
des  N.T.,  p.  43  n.)  refers  to  an  important  passage  in  Diodorus  (Bill.  His 
ii.  31)  which  is  Cumont's  source  here.     He  attaches  special  importance    ; 
a  note  of  Prof.  Ziinmern's  that  these  stars   or  constellations  are  set 
circles  round  the  polar  stars,  as  the  24   irpeo-fivrepoi  in   Rev.  44  are  £ 
round  the  Throne.     This  may  or  may  not  convince  us.     But  what  does 
mean  when  he  goes  on  to  remark  that  these  24  signs  are  "  of  course  "  : 
divisions  of    the  Zodiac    ("  die    24    Sternbilder  .  .  .  sind    natiirlich 
Abteilungen  des  Tierkreises ")  ?    Diodorus  expressly  says  they  were  01 
side  the  Zodiac,  and  Zimmern's  remark  implies  that  they  are  not  far  frc 
the  Poles. 


at  the  top  and  brought  them  out,  whpence  evil  things  have 
3een  mingled  with  the  good.  But  there  will  come  a  determined 
period  when  Areimanios  bringing  plague  and  famine  must  be 
utterly  destroyed  by  these,2  and  made  to  vanish  away ;  and  the 
aarth  having  become  flat  and  level.3  men  shall  have  one  life  and 
ane  commonwealth,  all  being  blessed  and  speaking  one  tongue.4 
And  Theopompus  5  says  that,  according  to  the  Magi,  for  three 
thousand  years  in  succession  the  one  of  these  gods  rules  and 
the  other  is  ruled  ;  for  the  next  three  thousand  they  fight  and 
war  and  break  up  one  another's  domains  ; 6  but  finally  Hades 

ravu6fv  seems  certainly  corrupt :  I  tentatively  translate  Bernardakis' 
conjectural  supplement,  but  without  any  confidence.  The  next  sentence 
s\  mid  rather  suggest  that  he  brought  his  24  into  the  Weltei. 

2  The  familiar  Greek  combination  \oifj.6i  \ip6s  suggests  by  itself  that  we 
lave  here  no  Avestan  or  other   Iranian   material.     Ahriman  was  to  be 
lestroyed  by  the  ayah  -^susta^  or  flood  of  molten  metal.     See  p.  157. 

3  Cf.  Bd  3033  (SEE,  v.  129)  :  "This  too  it  says,  that  this  earth  becomes 
,n  iceless,  slopeless  plain."     West  remarks,  "  Mountains,  being  the  work  of 
,he  evil  spirit,  disappear  with  him."     But  this  was  certainly  no  feature  of 
wre  Zoroastrianism,  in  which  (as  in  Aryan  thought  generally)  mountains 
yere  holy.     It  is  a  Magian  trait :  see  above,  p.  213  f. 

4  The  suggestion  that  the  confusion  of  tongues  is  a  curse  to  be  removed 
it  the  Regeneration  naturally  suggests  a  Semitic  source  ;  but  it  is  quite  in 
teeping  with  the  principles  of  Magianism,  though  not  actually  found. 

5  According  to  Diogenes  Laertius  (Procem.,  8),  Theopompus  (flor.  338  B.C.) 
vrote  about  the  Magian  doctrines  in  the  eighth   book  of  his  Philippica. 
'robably  we  must  regard  his  information  as  starting  with  this  sentence, 
nd  not  recognise  his  authority  for  anything  earlier. 

6  The  more  natural  translation  is  that  which  Prof.   Frazer  gives :   see 
>elow.     A  world  year  of   12,000  years  was  established  in  the  system  by 
lassanian  times.     Mani  taught  thus  (Soderblom,  La  Vie  Future,  248  n.4), 
nd  we  have  a  full  statement  of  it  in  the  Bundahish  (SEE,  v.  149).     In 
Id  18-20  the  system  of  trimillennial  periods  is  set  forth.     In  the  first  the 
Features  "  remained  in  a  spiritual  state,  so  that  they  were  unthinking  and 
inmoving,  with  intangible   bodies."     Then  Auharmazd  proposed  to  the 
vil  spirit  that  there  should  be  a  period  of  9000  years  for  conflict :  he  knew 
tiis  would  be  his  enemy's  undoing.    Aharman,  being  ignorant  (cf.  Plutarch's 
yvoia  above),  agreed  to  this.     So  "  for  3000  years  everything  proceeds  by 
he  will  of  Auharmazd,  3000  years  there  is  an  intermingling  of  the  wills 
f  Auharmazd  and  Aharman,  and  the  last  3000  years  the  evil  spirit  is 
isabled,  and  they  keep  the  adversary  away  from  the  creatures."     Theo- 
>ompus  seems  to  have  been  ignorant  of  the  first  period,  during  which  (as 
Vest  takes  it)  only  the  fravashis  of  the  creatures  afterwards  produced  were 

existence.     The  period  of  Ahura  Mazdah's  supremacy  may  be  reconciled 


with  Plutarch's  exposition  if  we  take  the  opening  a«/o  fj.epos  as  "  in  succession, 
applying  to  all  the  periods  instead  of  the  first  only,  and  then  translate  "  one 
of  the  gods  [viz.  Hororaazdes]  is  in  power,  and  the  other  is  subject."    On 
this  point  Prof.  J.  G.  Frazer  kindly  sends  me  the  following  note  : — 

"  If  we  could  interpret  the  words  (as,  apart  from  the  context,  they  naturally 
would  be  interpreted)  to  mean  '  in  alternate  periods  of  three  thousand  years 
first  one  and  then  the  other  god  prevails,'  this  theory  would  resemble 
Empedocles's  view  of  the  alternate  periods  in  which  Love  or  Hate  (Attrac 
tion  or  Repulsion)  respectively  prevails,  so  that  the  universe,  under  the 
influence  of  the  one  or  the  other,  alternately  contracts  or  expands,  the 
periods  of  motion  (whether  of  attraction  or  of  repulsion)  being  separated 
by  intervals  of  equilibrium  and  rest,  in  which  the  one  force  has  exhausted 
itself  and  the  other  has  not  yet  begun  to  move  all  things  in  the  reverse 
direction.  It  is  tempting  to  interpret  the  fyinw  Kal  avairavta-dai  xp^vov,  etc., 
of  such  intervals  of  equilibrium  or  peace  separating  periods  of  motion  or 
conflict.  If  there  is  anything  in  this  suggestion,  the  MSS.  reading  &iroA.«t7re<r0ai 
is  to  be  preferred  to  the  airo\e«(T0ai  or  a.iro\(ffdai  of  modern  critics,  since  the 
reference  would  be  to  a  temporary  failure  of  the  bad  power's  influence,  not 
to  its  total  extinction.  As  to  Empedocles's  theory  of  the  alternation  of  the 
world-periods  under  the  opposite  forces  of  Love  and  Hate  (Attraction  and 
Repulsion)  see  Zeller,  Philosophie  der  Griechen,  I.4  678  sqq.,  especially  pp. 
704  sqq.,  where  he  says,  '  Die  Zeiten  der  Bewegung  und  des  Naturlebens 
wechseln  daher  regelmassig  mit  solchen  der  Naturlosigkeit  und  der  Ruhe.' 
The  length  of  these  periods  is  unknown  ;  but  Zeller  adds  in  a  footnote : 
'  Das  einzige,  was  in  dieser  Beziehung  vorliegt,  ist  die  .  .  .  Bestimmung 
dass  schuldhafte  Damonen  30,000  Horen  in  der  Welt  umherirren  sollen.' 
The  rpls  /j.vpla.1  Sipat  have  been  variously  understood  as  30,000  years  or 
30,000  seasons  (10,000  years).  In  any  case  the  30,000  of  Empedocles  is  a 
curious  echo  of  the  3000  of  Zoroaster.  By  the  way,  Empedocles's  doctrine 
of  the  alternate  world-periods  of  contraction  and  expansion  closely  resemble^ 
Herbert  Spencer's  theory  of  alternate  periods  of  evolution  and  dissolution. 
I  have  occasion  incidentally  to  point  out  the  parallelism  in  the  forth 
coming  part  of  The  Golden  Bough." 

This  interesting  suggestion  has  the  considerable  advantage  of  explaining 
the  difficult  words  i)pf/j.e~iv  KT\,  which,  as  far  as  I  can  see,  have  no  analogue 
in  the  Zoroastrian  system.  In  that  case  we  must  be  on  our  guard  in  using 
Plutarch  as  a  source,  since  he  is  suspected  of  interpolating  Greek  elements 
— unless,  indeed,  Empedocles  got  hints  from  Persia.  Another  line  if 
suggested  by  Bo'klen  (Pars.  Esch.,  82),  who  points  out  that  in  Arda  Vira: 
(18  and  54)  a  world-age  of  9000  years  is  presumed,  and  in  Plutarch  6000 
(He  observes  that  on  Zoroastrian  principles  it  is  impossible  to  imagini 
Angra  Mainyu  having  dominion  over  Mazdah,  so  that  we  must  translate  a: 
in  my  text  above.)  Accordingly  he  suggests  that  the  9000  of  Arda  Viraf  am 
the  12,000  of  the  Bundahish  represent  successive  accretions  to  an  older  6000 
This  enables  him  to  compare  Jewish-Christian  apocalyptic,  where  a  cycle  o 
6000  or  7000  years  bases  itself  obviously  on  the  week  of  creation,  interpretei 


is  to  fail,1  and  men  will  become  happy,  neither  needing  food 
nor  casting  shadows,2  while  the  god  who  brought  these  things 

by  the  principle  stated  in  2  Pet.  38  and  elsewhere.  It  seems  to  me  that  if 
this  is  the  original  we  must  postulate  Semitic  sources  for  the  Magian  doctrine 
Plutarch  describes,  for  only  in  this  field  can  we  find  an  adequate  motive  for 
the  number. 

For  the  next  period  the  Greek  and  Pahlavi  authorities  agree  :  but 
Theopompus  does  not  connect  any  millennial  reckoning  with  the  time  of 
final  triumph. 

1  On   airohi'ureffOai,  often   corrected  to  d7ro?u?<r0a»,  see  Dr  Frazer's    note. 
Boklen  (Pars.  Esch.,  102  ff.)  has  an  acute  discussion  of  it  on  the  assumption 
that  the  text  is  correct.     He  shows,  rightly  enough,  that  the  Greek  verb 
must  be  badly  forced  if  we  are  to  assume  that  the  destruction  of  Ahriman 
is  meant.     He  would  take  rbv  "AiSijj/  literally,  and  render  "  Hades  ia  to  be 
deserted,"  which  gives  us  the  desiderated  reference  to   the  Eesurrection, 
elsewhere  not  alluded  to  by  Plutarch.     This  is  strange,  since  he  knew  and 
quoted  Theopompus,  who  is  expressly  cited  by  Diogenes  Laertius  (p.  415  f., 
below)  for  Magian  belief  in  the  future  life :  the  words  are  &y  (sc.  Theo 
pompus)    Kal    dcojSicocrecrflai  Kara  rovs  Mdyovs  <j>ij(rl  rovs  av6p(airovs   Kal    e<r«r6ai 
aBavdrovs  Kal  TO  ovra  rats  avruv  eiriKA^tretn  Stajj.fvf'iv.      The    quotation  is  con 
firmed  by  ^Eneas  of  Gaza  (De,  Animi  Immortalitate,  77),  6  Se  Ztapoda-rpris 
irpo\eytt    ois    fffrai   irore   xpovos    tv   <p    Trdvrtav    vfKpuv   avda'rao'is    etrrat.    olSev    6 
Se6irofj.iros.      Since   Plutarch   does   not,   like   Aristotle,    expressly  identify 
Ahriman  and  Hades,  there  certainly  seems  a  strong  case  for  this  rendering. 
But  it  may  be  noticed  that  if  Theopompus  really  gave  the  doctrine  as 
Zoroaster's,  as  ^Eneas  says — Kara  rovs  Mdyov;  being  due  to  Diogenes — we  are 
left  free  to  explain  Plutarch's  silence  from  our  converging  evidence  that 
the  Magi  had  no  doctrine  of  the  Future  Life  apart  from  their  acceptance  of 
Zoroastrianism.     Plutarch's  picture  (cf.  below)  is  remarkably  true — apart 
from  some  Greek  elements — to  the  doctrines  we  should  on  other  grounds 
suppose  the  Magi  to  have  held  in  the  first  century  A.D.  :    the  complete 
syncretism  of  Magianism  and  Zoroastrianism  proper  was  not  achieved  till 
the  Sassanian  era. 

2  Cf.  Bd  301'3,  where  it  is  said  that  at  the  first  the  primeval  pair  fed 
on  water,  then  plants,  then  milk,  then  meat  :  so  when  men's  time  comes  to 
die  they  desist  from  meat,  then  from  milk,  then  from  bread,  and  finally 
feed  on  water.     So  in  the  end  men's  appetite  will  diminish,  one  taste  of 
consecrated  food  sufficing  for  three  days  and  nights.     After  that  they  desist 
from  the  foods  in  this  order,  "  and  for  ten  years  before  Soshyans  comes  they 
remain  without  food  and  do  not  die."     Since  Ahriman  is  the  power  of 
darkness,  it  is  logical  that  shadows  should  belong  to  his  province  and  vanish 
when  he  is  destroyed.     Compare  Yt  1068  and  1527.     Another  reason  for 
the  disappearance  of  shadows  in  the  life  beyond  death  is  that  suggested  by 
Darmesteter's  notable  extract  from  the  Great  Bundahish,  cited  above,  p.  256  f. 
Since  at  death  a  man's  "  form,"  or  more  literally  "  image,"  flies  up  to  the 


to  pass  l  is  quiet  and  rests  for  a  season,  not  a  long  one  for  a 
god,  but  moderately  long  as  it  were  for  a  man  that  sleeps.2 
Such,  then,  is  the  mythology  of  the  Magi. 

On  a  review  of  this  most  important  locus  classicus  we  cannot 
help  being  powerfully  struck  with  the  almost  exclusively  Magian 
character  of  the  sources  Plutarch  has  employed.  There  is 
nothing  whatever  here  that  we  can  credit  to  Zarathushtra, 
except  what  we  find  perpetuated  in  the  Magian  parts  of  the 
Later  Avesta ;  and  the  most  conspicuous  parallels  we  have  to 
seek  in  the  Pahlavi  books,  of  which  on  any  showing  the  Magian 
authorship  is  secure.  We  have  already  noted  the  possibility 
that  the  World-age  of  6000  years  is  due  to  Semitic  thought, 
modified  in  Sassanian  Magianism  by  new  elements,  which  in 
their  turn  seem  to  be  Babylonian.  To  the  same  source  we 
attributed  the  Twenty-four  gods.  The  dualism  of  Plutarch's 
picture  goes  far  beyond  anything  we  find  in  the  Avesta.  Sacrifices 
DEO  ARIMANIO,  found  in  the  syncretic  system  of  Mithraism, 
are  utterly  alien  to  Avestan  thought.  Characteristics  of  the 
Magian  doctrine  may  be  recognised  in  the  emphasis  on  the 
stars  (though  Plutarch's  brief  account  gives  nothing  actually 
alien  to  the  Avesta  here),  and  the  curious  view  of  mountains 
as  creations  of  evil :  see  p.  213  f.  The  Amesha  Spenta  are 
adopted,  it  is  true,  and  so  is  the  name  Areimanios,  which  are 
both  due  to  Zarathushtra's  thought.  But  it  is  pointed  out 

sun,  he  may  well  be  without  shadow  in  the  next  existence.  But  the 
antiquity  of  the  psychology  in  this  passage  cannot  be  proved :  it  differs 
from  the  Avestan,  as  noted  there. 

1  Windischmann  accepted  Markland's  /U7jx«i"?tr<$/xtvo«',  and  assumed  that 
Saoshyant  was  intended.     Soderblom  (La  Vie  Future,  244  n.3)  urges  that 
&e6s  should  mean  Ahura  Mazdah,  as  in   the  preceding  phrase.     Another 
suggestion  of  Windischmann  was  that  Sama  Keresaspa  is  the  6e6s,  referring 
to  his  rising  from  long  sleep  to  take  part  in  the  Regeneration.     Keresaspa's 
place  in  the  Avesta  is  hardly  that  of  a  fle^s.     (See  Dr  Frazer,  above.) 

2  The  ordinary  text  is  probably  corrupt :  I  render  without  much  con 
fidence  the  Teubner  &\\cas  for  Ka\us.    Soderblom  would  read  Ka\ws  n^v  olv 

(for   ou)  iroXvv,  rcf  [Se]    decji  Siffirep  a.v6p<[>ir<p  Kot/j.oi/j.fixf  fnfrpiov.      Boklen  (Pars. 

Esch.,  81  n.)  suggests  Kaivta^fvy  (sic — Kaivov^fvif  is  presumably  meant), 
explaining  that  "die  Selbstverjiingung  des  Gottes  die  Voraussetzung  ist  fiir 
die  Verjiingung  und  Erneuerung  der  Menschheit."  Neither  seems  to  solve 
the  problem. 


elsewhere  that  even  the  name  Angra  Mainyu  is  only  the 
stereotyping  of  a  casual  collocation,  occurring  only  once  in  the 
Gathas,  the  fixing  of  which  belongs  most  certainly  to  distant 
successors  of  Zarathushtra.  The  Ameshas  also  have  been  de 
veloped  since  Zarathushtra's  day  in  directions  very  different  from 
those  to  which  he  pointed.  The  Six  in  Plutarch  have  all  the 
features  of  the  Magian  adaptation.  There  are  the  six  avrirexvoi, 
a  conception  with  an  unmistakable  Magian  hall-mark,  but 
essentially  absent  from  the  Avesta  except  in  scanty  hints.  And 
it  is  perhaps  not  without  significance  that  the  one  Amesha 
whose  character  Plutarch  misinterprets  is  "  Immortality,"  since 
the  Magi  evidently  did  not  take  to  this  doctrine  for  generations, 
native  as  it  was  to  the  Aryans  and  developed  by  Zarathushtra. 
We  should  compare  the  Magian  original  of  Tobit  (p.  252  f.). 

The  conclusion  forced  on  me  is  that  in  Plutarch's  day  the 
Magi  were  still  keeping  up  their  own  system,  extended  to  a 
very  limited  degree  by  adaptations  derived  from  Aryan  and 
Zoroastrian  sources.  They  took  over  these  elements  largely  in 
order  to  win  their  way  among  the  populace  who  followed 
a  degenerate  form  of  Aryan  polytheism,  influenced  mostly  in 
externals  by  the  Zarathushtrian  Reform.  Otherwise  they  had 
changed  but  little  :  the  Sassanian  revival  was  still  far  off. 

STRABO,  xv.  3.  13  ff.  (p.  732  f.) 

13.  Persian  customs  are  the  same  as  those  of  the  Medes  and 
many  others,  concerning  which  sundry  have  written :  I  must, 
however,  tell  of  what  is  important.  Persians,  then,  do  not  set 
up  images  and  altars,  but  sacrifice  on  a  high  place,  regarding 
the  Sky  as  Zeus.1  They  honour  also  the  Sun,  whom  they  call 
Mithras,2  and  the  Moon,  and  Aphrodite,3  and  Fire  and  Earth, 
and  Winds  and  Water.  They  sacrifice  in  a  pure  place  after 
dedicatory  prayer,  having  set  the  victim  by  them  garlanded. 
The  Magus  who  presides  over  the  rite  divides  the  animal  limb 
from  limb,  and  they  take  their  portions  and  depart,  assigning 

1  This  seems  simply  borrowed  from  Herodotus  (p.  391). 

2  This  is  of  course  an  advance  on  Herodotus,  whose  knowledge  about 
Mithra  was  scanty  (p.  238).     The  identification  of  Mithra  and  the  Sun  had 
advanced  rapidly. 

3  Ana"hita,  who  is  here  mentioned  apart  from  Mithra. 


no  portion  to  the  gods.  They  say  the  deity  needs  the  soul 
of  the  victim,  but  nothing  more :  they  do,  however,  according 
to  some,  put  a  little  piece  of  the  caul  upon  the  fire. 

14.  They  make  a  difference  between  fire  and  water  in  their 
manner    of  sacrifice.      For  the  Fire,  they  put  on  it  dry  logs 
without  the  bark,1  adding  fat  from  above :    then  they  kindle 
it  from  below,  pouring  oil  over  it,  not  blowing  it,2  but  fanning 
it ;  any  who  have  blown  it,  or  have  laid  a  dead  body  or  dung 
upon  fire,  they  put  to  death.     For  Water,  when  they  have  come 
to  a  lake,  a  river,  or  a  spring,  they  dig  a  trench  and  slay  the 
victim  over  it,  taking  care  that  none  of  the  water  close  by  may 
be  splashed  with  blood,  since  they  would  thus  defile  it.3     Then 
setting  in  order  the  flesh  upon  myrtle  or  bay,  the  Magi  touch 
it  with  thin  rods 4  and  chant  a  hymn,  pouring  a  libation  of  oil 
mingled  with  milk  and  honey,  not  into  the  fire  or  the  water, 
but  on  the  ground ;    and  they  keep  up  the  chants  for  a  long 
time,  holding  a  bundle  of  thin  tamarisk  rods.5 

15.  In   Cappadocia,   where  the   Magian    tribe   is   numerous, 
being  called  fire-priests  (Trvpai9oi)f  and  shrines  of  the  Persian 
gods  are  also  numerous,  they  do  not  even  kill  with  a  knife,  but 
by  striking  the  victim  with  a  log  of  wood,  as  if  with  a  pestle.7 

1  The  entirely  reasonable  requirement  that  Atar  must  have   carefully 
dried  wood  given  to  him  may  be  seen  in  a  verse  fragment  in  Vd  1827 
(cf.  ERPP,  157),  which  is  presumably  old.     The  additional  requirement 
that  it  must  be  purified  (yaoaddta)  may  well  have  meant  originally  that  the 
bark  must  be  stripped  off,  as  here.     Cf.  Lat.  delubrnm,  and  ERE,  ii.  44. 

2  This  suits  the  Parsi  ritual  use  of  the  paitiddna,  a  small  napkin  worn 
over  nose  and  mouth  by  a  priest  before  the  Fire,  to  prevent  his  breath  from 
polluting  it. 

3  Contrast  Herod.,  vii.  113,  where  the  Magi  in  the  suite  of  Xerxes 
sacrificed  white  horses  to  the  Strymon  :    the  words   seem  to  imply  that 
a  jet  of  blood  was  directed  into  the  water. 

4  This  item  is  not  quite  clear.     The  carpet  of  myrtle  or  bay  is  a  develop 
ment  of  the  old  Aryan  barhis-barazig  (see  p.  190).     Are  the  "thin  rods" 
simply  the   first  stage  of  making  a  barsom,  consecrating  it  by  touching 
sacrificial  meat  ? 

6  This  is  of  course  the  barsom  :  the  notice  is  interesting  as  showing  the 
kind  of  plant  then  used.     It  is  still  used  in  Yezd. 

6  I.e.  ddravano. 

7  This  was  presumably  to  avoid  the  shedding  of  blood — an  extension  of 
the  precaution  observed  above.    Cf.  J.  G.  Frazer,  The  Golden  Bough3,  ii.  241 : 
royal  criminals  in  Siarn  were  pounded  to  death  in  iron  cauldrons,  because 


There  are  also  fire-temples  (TrvpaiOeia),  a  peculiar  sort  of 
enclosure,  in  the  middle  of  which  is  an  altar,  with  abundance 
of  ashes  upon  it,  and  the  Magi  guard  thereon  a  fire  that  is 
never  quenched.  They  enter  these  by  day,1  and  chant  for 
almost  an  hour  before  the  fire  holding  the  bundle  of  rods, 
wearing  felt  headgear  (r*apa?),  which  falls  down  on  both  sides 
for  the  cheek  pieces  to  cover  the  lips.2  The  same  usages  are 
practised  in  the  shrines  of  Anaitis  and  Omanus : 3  these  also 
have  secret  enclosures,  and  an  image  of  Omanus  goes  in 
procession.  These  things  I  have  seen  myself,  but  the  former 
details  and  those  to  follow  are  described  in  the  books  of 

[Sections  following  deal  with  manners  and  customs :  a  few 
sentences  are  excerpted.] 

17  fin.  Marriages  are  consummated  at  the  beginning  of  the 
spring  equinox.4  The  bridegroom  goes  to  the  bridal  chamber 
after  first  eating  an  apple  or  the  marrow  of  a  camel,5  but 
nothing  else  that  day. 

20  (p.  735).  They  bury  their  dead  after  covering  the  body 
with  wax.6  The  Magi  they  do  not  bury,  but  leave  them  to 

the  royal  blood  must  not  be  spilt  on  the  ground.  Dr  Frazer  gives  much 
evidence  (op.  cit.,  243  ff.)  to  show  the  widespread  "unwillingness  to  shed 
blood,  or  at  least  to  allow  it  to  fall  on  the  ground." 

1  For  any   ritual  of  the  kind  performed  at  night  would  all  go  to  the 
profit  of  the  Daevas,  as  the  Vendidad  shows. 

2  See  note 2,  p.  408.     The  description  here  answers  in  every  particular 
to  the  familiar  medallion  of  a  priest  before  the  Fire,  reproduced  on  the 
title-page  of  Geldner's  Avesta,  from  MSS.  more  than  a  thousand  years  later 
than  Strabo.   There  is  the  barsom  and  the  penom  (paitiddna),  the  coal-scuttle 
hat  with  irapayvaOities,  and  the  book  out  of  which  the  priest  chants  a  Yasht 
(cf.  Hdt.,  firadSfi  Ofoyeviriv).    Compare  also  the  passage  from  Pausanias, 
quoted  p.  208,  n. 

3  This  is  assumed   to  be  Vohumanah,  chief  of  the  Amesha  in  Later 
Avesta.     If  so,  we  have  a  significant  divergence  from  the  aniconic  worship 
of  the  Avesta.     For  the  one  (late)  Avestan  parallel,  see  p.  101  above. 

4  When  the  productive  powers  of  nature  are  in  full  activity. 

6  The  names  of  Zarathustra  and  FraSa-ustra  are  evidence  of  the  part  the 
camel  took  in  Iran.  There  may  possibly  be  an  allusion  to  the  sexual  power 
of  the  camel  :  cf.  Tahmuras'  Frag.  65  (SBE,  iv.2  289,  and  Darmesteter's 

6  With  this  compare,  not  only  Strabo's  possible  source,  Herodotus,  i.  140 
(p.  398),  but  also  a  passage  later  in  this  Book  (p.  746,  ch.  i.  20),  where 


be  devoured  by  birds.  It  is  the  latter  who  by  ancestral 
custom  actually  mate  with  their  mothers.1 


Diogenes 2  introduces  his  account  of  famous  philosophers  by 
remarking  that  Philosophy  is  said  to  have  owed  its  origin  to 
foreigners  ((3dp6apoi).  Thus  "  the  Persians  had  Magians,  the 
Babylonians  or  Assyrians  Chaldaeans,  the  Indians  had  Gym- 
nosophists  [fakirs],  the  Kelts  and  Galatians  the  so-called  Druids 
and  Semnothei,  as  Aristotle  says  in  To  Mayt/coY,3  and  Sotion  in 
the  23rd  book  of  his  Aia<5ox>?."  A  few  lines  lower  down 
he  proceeds : — 

"  Now  from  the  time  of  the  Magi  (whose  chief  was  the 
Persian  Zoroaster)  up  to  the  taking  of  Troy  5000  years  elapsed, 
according  to  the  Platonist  Hermodorus  in  his  book  Jlept 
MaOrj/uLOLTcov.  Xanthus  the  Lydian,  however,  says  600  (?)  years 
passed  between  Zoroaster  and  the  invasion  of  Xerxes ;  and 
that  after  him  there  was  a  long  succession  (SiaSoxv)  of  Magi, 
with  names  like  Ostanes,  Astrampsychus,  Gobryas,  and  Pazates, 
up  to  the  conquest  of  the  Persians  by  Alexander." 

The  four  names  of  Magi  succeeding  Zoroaster  are  explained 
by  Windischmann  (Studien,  286)  as  recalling  (1)  Av.  u§ta,  see  the 
Ustavaiti  Gatha  ;  (2)  Vdstryo  f&uyas,  the  name  of  agriculturists, 
given  actually  to  Zarathushtra  and  his  son ;  (3)  Gaubaruva 

Strabo  says  of  the  Assyrians,  "They  wail  for  their  dead,  as  do  the 
Egyptians  and  many  others  ;  and  they  bury  them  in  honey,  having  covered 
them  with  wax."  The  words  edirrovtri  Kijpy  irepnr\<Lffa.vTfs  are  common  to 
both :  Herodotus  says  KaraK-npiaa-avrfs  -yfl  Kpvwrova-i.  The  difference  of 
phraseology  may  possibly  imply  a  supplementary  source,  which  makes  the 
note  of  a  similar  custom  in  Mesopotamia  interesting.  There  is  a  further 
parallel  in  Herodotus,  in  his  account  of  the  Scythians  (iv.  71),  who  "  take 
up  the  corpse,  KaraKfKrjpa>fj.fvov  /j.ev  rb  arcana  KT\."  That  Strabo  omits  the 
dogs  has  been  noted  above  (pp.  202). 

1  TOI'ITOIS  Sf  Kal  /j.r)rpdtrt  (rvvepx^ffSit  irdrpiov  v*v6fj.i<JTai.       On  this  subject  see 
p.  204-8. 

2  He  called  himself  apparently  Diogenes  Laertiades  (Laertios)  by  a  punning 
use  of  the  Homeric  Aioytves  AafpndSrj,  with  which  Odysseus  is  so  often 
addressed  :  it  gave  him  a  pen-name.     Mr  Hicks  tells  me  that  Wilamowitz 
anticipated  this  suggestion. 

3  So  "  in  the  anonymous  list  now  referred  to  Hesychius,"  Mr  Hicks  tells 
me.     It  may  of  course  be  6 


in  Old  Persian;  (4)  Hart  £et  #179  in  Herodotus  (iii.  61),  which 
Windischmann  would  connect  with  paiti-zan,  "acknowledge,11 
specially  in  a  religious  sense  (as  Ys  2911).  It  may  be  observed 
that  the  second  of  these — a  most  acute  attempt  to  interpret  a 
word  that  was  certainly  not  invented — suits  the  case  I  have  tried 
to  make  above  (p.  117  f.),  that  the  priesthood  was  originally 
no  separate  order.  Bartholomae  (AirWb,  1416)  would  put  v.fs 
in  antithesis  to  aQravan ;  but  here  a  typical  priest  actually 
bears  the  name.  Not  much  is  added  by  later  research  to  these 
notes  of  Windischmann,  which  at  least  bring  out  the  entirely 
Iranian  character  of  the  names,  and  establish  accordingly  the 
certainty  that  the  sources  of  Diogenes  were  not  mere  imaginative 
Greeks.  The  plural  form  in  which  the  names  occur  "  indicates 
type  or  class,1'  says  Prof.  Jackson  (Zoroaster,  138  n.).  That  is, 
they  will  be  rather  sects  than  individuals.  Justi  (Namenbuch,  52) 
says  of  "  ^crraVou  "  [why  not  ''Oa-ravai  ?],  "  Austana  hiess  ein 
Priesterschaft  welche  sich  mit  Astronomie  beschaftigte  (also 
von  dem  Worte  Awesta  abzuleiten "),  referring  to  this  passage. 
The  connexion  with  Avesta  is  unlikely  enough.  ">Ao-Tpa\fsvxov$ 
(p.  47)  he  only  mentions  as  derived  professedly,  like  the  others, 
from  Xanthus  of  Sardis  :  Suidas  has  1Ao-rpaiu^JxOL'f-  Tufipvas 
is  of  course  a  good  Persian  name,  Gaubaruva  :  see  Justi,  p.  112. 
Ha^ara?  (p.  246)  he  compares  with  Patizeithes,  and  makes  him 
"  einer  der  Begriinder  der  Magie."  Rapp  (ZDMG,  xx.  72)  gives 
some  other  classical  quotations :  note  also  that  from  Suidas, 
"  'O&Tavai  •  OUTOI  Trpfaqv  irapa  liepcrai 9  Mayot  eAeyovTO."  It  is 
at  least  possible  that  these  four  names  may  include  more  than  one 
which  really  denotes  a  caste  within  the  Magi  of  Sassanian  times, 
for  which  Porphyry  vouches  (De  Abstin.,  iv.  16). 

For  the  common  idea  among  the  Greeks  that  Zoroaster 
belonged  to  a  period  6000  years  before  Alexander — which  is 
the  same  as  the  date  given  by  Hermodorus  (fourth  century  B.C.) 
above — it  will  be  enough  to  refer  to  Prof.  Jackson's  dissertation, 
Zoroaster,  pp.  152  ff.  Xanthus  the  Lydian  was  an  elder  con 
temporary  of  Herodotus,1  according  to  Ephorus  (ap.  Athenaeus, 
xii.  515).  But  unfortunately  textual  certainty  fails  here  in  a 

1  Obviously  Xanthus  could  not  have  named  Alexander,  except  by  a  gift 
of  second  sight.  But  careless  quotation  on  the  part  of  Diogenes  will 
perhaps  sufficiently  account  for  the  anachronism. 


crucial  matter.  Two  MSS.  are  said  to  read  e^a/acrx/Am  instead 
of  egaKoaria,  and  Cobet  (1850)  adopted  this  reading,  which 
accords  with  many  other  classical  notices  and  is,  I  fear,  more 
likely  to  be  right.  In  view  of  some  doubts  attaching  to  the 
fragments  of  Xanthus,  and  the  impossibility  of  depending  on 
our  text  of  this  extract  in  Diogenes,  I  reluctantly  pass  on. 
But  the  notice  is  most  tantalising,  for  it  throws  back  by  a 
century  the  earliest  mention  of  Zarathushtra  by  a  Greek  writer, 
and  it  puts  his  floruit  into  the  eleventh  century  B.C.,  which  is 
just  about  the  period  that  on  other  grounds  I  should  very  much 
like  to  give  him,  as  explained  in  Lecture  III.  above.  I  must 
not  stop  to  discuss  Xanthus  in  general,  a  task  which  belongs 
to  the  historians  and  the  specialists  on  Greek  literature  ;  but 
it  may  be  fairly  noted  that  this  particular  extract  is  reasonable 
enough,  and  I  should  be  well  pleased  to  find  it  genuine.  I 
note  that  in  W.  Christ's  authoritative  work  on  Greek  literature 
(in  Iwan  Midler's  Handbuch),  ed.6,  p.  454,  it  is  observed  that 
the  finding  of  the  Escurial  fragment  of  Nicolaus  Damascenus  in 
1848  rehabilitated  the  credit  of  the  Xanthus  remains  by  the 
accurate  local  colour  displayed.  Mr  Hicks  refers  me  to  Busolt 
(II.2  451),  who  "  writes  as  if  he  accepted  without  a  doubt  the 
existence  of  a  Lydian  historian  in  the  reign  of  Artaxerxes." 
Before  leaving  Xanthus,  I  ought  to  refer  to  his  other  fragment 
which  interests  us,  preserved  by  Nicolaus  Damascenus  (first 
century  B.C.)  :  the  text  may  be  seen  in  Jackson's  Zoroaster, 
p.  232.  He  speaks  of  "  Zoroaster's  oracles,"  in  connexion  with 
the  Sibyl's  responses,  and  then  attributes  to  Zoroaster  the 
precept  not  to  burn  corpses  or  otherwise  pollute  fire.  If,  then, 
Xanthus  is  really  our  oldest  authority,  we  gather  from  him 
that  Zoroaster  was  already  —  in  less  than  a  century  and  a  half, 
on  the  orthodox  view  !  —  invested  with  immemorial  antiquity, 
and  his  name  annexed  by  the  Magi  for  the  sanction  of  their 
most  characteristic  practice.  So  far,  then,  as  his  authority  goes, 
I  should  quote  him  as  evidence  for  dating  Zarathushtra  some 
centuries  before  the  era  fixed  by  the  native  tradition. 

These  extracts,  however,  I  have  only  given  to  prepare  for  the 
locus  classicus  that  follows  in  §§  6  to  9  (ch.  vi.).  A  paper  by 
Mr  Hicks  upon  Magian  Doctrine  in  these  sections,  read  before 
the  Cambridge  Philological  Society  on  October  26th,  1911 


claims  that  "the  authors  cited"  by  the  compiler  "were  at  least 
as  old  as  the  fourth  century  B.C.,  except  Hermippus  and  Sotion, 
who  belonged  to  the  third  century.  A  comparison  with  the 
Avesta  and  other  Parsee  scriptures  confirms  the  accuracy  of 
the  account  as  a  whole."  The  disabilities  of  a  no  longer 
resident  member  of  the  Society  have  been  made  up  for  me  by 
Mr  Hicks's  kindness  in  sending  me  his  paper  and  permitting 
me  to  quote  from  it.  His  authority  on  all  matters  of  Greek 
scholarship,  and  especially  Greek  philosophy,  is  such  as  to 
lend  peculiar  value  to  his  impressions  of  the  Parsi  theology, 
even  though  read  only  in  translations.  Firstly,  I  borrow  his 
version  of  the  passage  entire,  with  one  or  two  of  his  notes 
which  are  important  for  my  purpose:  1  attach  to  these  the 
initials  R.  D.  H.,  as  in  other  notes  upon  this  subject  with 
which  he  has  most  kindly  furnished  me.  He  asks  me  to  state 
that  in  his  use  of  Avestan  material  he  has  mainly  followed 

§  6.  [The  Chaldaeans  busy  themselves  with  astronomy  and 
prediction,]  but  the  Magi  with  the  worship  of  the  gods,  with 
sacrifices  and  prayers,  as  if  none  but  themselves  have  the  ear  of 
the  gods.  They  propound  their  views  concerning  the  being  and 
origin  of  the  gods,  whom  they  hold  to  be  fire,  earth,  and  water.1 
They  condemn  the  use  of  images,2  and  especially  the  error  of  those 
who  attribute  to  the  divinities  difference  of  sex.3  (7)  They  hold 

1  This,  of  course,  is  not  far  from  the  truth,  as  far  as  genuine  Magianism 
is  concerned  :  as  we  have  seen,  it  is  very  inadequate  for  Iranian  religion, 
and  utterly  untrue  for  that  of  Zarathushtra. 

2  This  may  have  been  derived  from  the  statement  of  Herodotus  (i.  131  : 
see  note  above,  p.  391).     But  here  the  Magi  did  not  care  (or  dare)  to  disturb 
a   scruple    thoroughly    characteristic    of    Zarathushtra    and    of    the   pre- 
Reformation  religion  as  well.     See  also  p.  67  f. 

3  This    would    be    true    of    Zarathushtra    himself,    for    his    feminine 
Amshaspands  are  only  grammatically  endowed  with  sex,  and   his  first 
three  are  neuter.     But  it  is